Elephant Encounters at Moholoholo
One of the most challenging aspects of volunteering at Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is the emotional and often challenging conditions in which an animal arrives at the centre. Just last week, a 3 day old female elephant was brought into the centre, having been found at a nearby reserve without her mother.
Traumatised and struggling with severe colic, dehydration and diarrhoea, the centre are working closely with an experienced elephant sanctuary to ensure the best possible care can ensue for the very vulnerable calf.
Young elephants are particularly vulnerable to physiological upset being from such close family herds, therefore it is crucial to make sure the very young elephant can be integrated back into a family herd as soon as possible.
Females, particularly, are very sensitive and rely on their strong emotional bonds between the breeding herds and if a wild herd cannot be found to integrate the animal back into, it is imperative that the human hand rearing the elephant should care for both the physical and psychological needs of the animal if it is hoped that they will be welcomed back into a wild herd later in life. This requires a continuous physical presence 24 hours a day and demanding feeding schedule.
Once stabilised, the team at Moholoholo have decided to take the difficult decision to transfer the little elephant down to a very specialised, experienced sanctuary in South Africa, where they can integrate her with other elephants in a family herd, which is of utmost importance.
The team at Moholoholo are pleased to have found a dedicated home for her… ”We will be sad to see her go but are happy that she will be going to the best place!”
Update 21 October 2010
This very delicate little elephant has now made the journey safely to the elephant sanctuary where she seems to have improved in health and with a little more strength will be joining her new family. Their bonds are already forming as they family herd are close by and if she makes a noise when she is upset, the herd become quite anxious. We hope that she will be able to join them very shortly.