The cooperation between wildlife NGO ‘Wild Is Life’ and the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery has saved the life of an orphaned elephant baby, which the rescuers named ‘Little Africa’.
Now safely installed at the elephant orphanage, the little elephant has the chance to overcome the traumatic experience when it lost its mother and aunties to poachers.
A source in Harare passed on information that the elephant was reported to have strayed into a village outside Hwange National Park in visible panic. Villagers informed the park authorities after calming the young elephant down, providing water and hosing him down to wash off the blood of his mother from his skin.
Park staff then temporarily took the animal to the park headquarters where it was fed with a milk formula suitable for baby elephants, while rangers confirmed that indeed three dead elephant cows had been found. Several suspects were promptly arrested though no tusks were recovered during that operation.
After spending a few days in the care of the park staff, the two conservation NGOs mobilized an aircraft and flew the young elephant to Harare, where it is now expertly cared for. Staff in Harare also commended the wardens and rangers at Hwange for keeping the young elephant alive against the odds, as the baby elephant was only weeks old when it lost its mother.
An upsurge in poaching, at times using cyanide, has led to the Zimbabwean government deploying troops to support Zimbabwe National Park’s anti-poaching units in several operations which have nabbed dozens of suspected poachers.