We hear so many stories about poachers and animal abusers these days. It is heartwarming to come across a story with a happy ending. Back in January 2016 at the Sera Community Conservatory in northern Kenya, a baby bull elephant calf became a success story, rather than a tragic one.
During the early morning hours a herd of elephants stopped for rest and water. The baby calf wandered away from his mother and unfortunately fell into a deep water hole located close by. The panicked herd paced around. Due to the steepness of the hole, the baby elephant had no way of getting out, and his mother had no way if reaching him. Fearing danger staying in one place too long and thinking the baby calf’s fate had been sealed, the herd of elephants wanders off.
Around mid-day, rangers from the conservatory stumble upon the trapped elephant. The baby calf is scared and suffers from a mild scrape to his head, but otherwise okay. The rangers are not willing to abandon the animal. It took the effort of several men, but they were finally able to pull the elephant to safety.
However, the story does not end there. The experienced rangers knew that if they released the baby to go into the wild alone, he would most surely be killed. There was hope that if they restricted the elephant’s movements to a small area, the herd may return later in the day seeking water. Then they would have a chance to be reunited.
The rangers were able to secure the elephant, with a chain, to a small tree. They offered him water from a purple, plastic bowl which he eagerly took. It was clear the calf was afraid and agitated as he paced back and forth. He couldn’t possibly understand that these men were there to protect him.
Night began to fall. The rangers worried about what to do with the animal if the herd did not return. They listened intently for signs, such as rustling of leaves or trumpets, indicating the elephants were close by.
Just when the rangers considered calling it a day for their own safety, they heard some very distinct sounds. Even the baby elephant’s ears began to perk up and grow wide. He had clearly heard his family coming back.
Quickly, the rangers released the elephant from the tree. Perhaps, it was the calf’s fear that kept him from running off to join his family. Jamie, a park ranger, decided to play a game of chase to lead him in the direction of the other elephants. The baby calf takes the bait and runs after Jamie. He soon hears his mommy in the distance. Forgetting about the rangers and the ordeal he had endured, the baby elephant gallops to the security of his family.
The baby elephant survived, although a bit hungry and with a few scratches. That was all the rangers needed to see to know they had another successful day at the conservatory.