By Mark Molloy
Wandering alone through the vast Kenyan savannah, this orphaned elephant had little chance of survival after its mother was killed by ivory poachers.
Still dependent on its mother’s milk, the baby male calf was spotted trudging through Tsavo East National Park by a David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) pilot earlier this month
The elephant, named Tundani, was soon rescued and transported to the DSWT’s Nairobi Orphanage where he will be hand-raised and gradually rehabilitated back into the wild.
He has received medication and round the clock care at the animal refuge and is now growing in strength.
Tundani’s rescue is just one of many that the DSWT has undertaken this year, according to founder Dame Daphne Sheldrick.
‘This latest rescue only shows the devastating effect that poaching and human-wildlife conflict has on elephant populations,’ she said.
‘Without the care of his mother, Tundani would have no hope for survival. At least now he has a second chance at life in the wild.’
She added: ‘This is not the first time we have rescued a young elephant – and sadly we know it won’t be the last.
‘With up to 35,000 elephants killed every year by ivory poachers, elephants are dying in droves on a daily basis to feed the infamous ivory trade fuelled by demand from the Far East.’
Along with 21 other orphaned elephants currently in the care of the DSWT, Tundani now roams Nairobi National Park’s forests daily.