The Resilient Rise Of Two Baby Elephants After Overcoming An Illness

In the unforgiving and dry terrain of Zimbabwe’s savannah, two juvenile elephants known as Kadiki and Bumi found themselves in challenging situations as they navigated the wilderness without their parental guidance. Kadiki’s traumatic experience with a lion left her with painful injuries on her trunk and tail when she was only a day old, while Bumi suffered from severe sunburns after getting stuck among rocks at just a month old.

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Kadiki and Bumi had a stroke of luck when they found themselves in the caring hands of Roxy Danckwerts, a seasoned animal rescuer. Known for her work with Wild Is Life charity and the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery (ZEN), Danckwerts welcomed the two elephants with open arms. Today, Kadiki and Bumi have a home at the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery, the country’s exclusive haven dedicated to the well-being of baby elephants.

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Thanks to the kind assistance of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), a caring sanctuary located close to Harare has provided a secure refuge for the cute baby elephants. Despite their challenging beginning, both elephants have displayed remarkable improvements as they continue on their journey of recovery and rehabilitation. Kadiki, affectionately called ‘the little one’ in the native Shona language, underwent a surgical operation to remove part of her tail and received dedicated treatment for her trunk with great care and attention.

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Just ten days into her life, she’s already showing incredible resilience by not letting being connected to a medical drip stop her from moving around. Since his arrival, Bumi has blossomed into a playful and adventurous baby elephant, delighting in simple pleasures like playing with tires. Sadly, we have no updates on the status or location of their mothers, a sad truth that many elephant calves face due to dangers like drought, poaching, getting lost, or predator attacks.

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The groundbreaking collaboration between Wild Is Life-ZEN and IFAW in Zimbabwe marks a promising new era for the rescued elephants in their care. Thanks to this partnership, these majestic creatures can now roam freely in a vast forest reserve, joining other herds in their natural habitat. This sanctuary offers them a safe haven away from the dangers of poaching and hunting. While the first group of elephants in the sanctuary learns essential survival skills to adapt to the wild, a group of nine elephants has already begun their rewilding journey.

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An idyllic trip to Panda-Masuie, a vast forest reserve spanning 86,000 acres near the stunning Victoria Falls, has provided a glimmer of hope for the protection of this once-hunted land. Roxy Danckwerts, known for her success in rescuing over 20 elephants in the past five years, emphasizes the importance of teamwork in safeguarding the future of these majestic animals. With boundless positivity, she dreams of Moyo, the first baby elephant she saved, stepping into a nurturing role for Kadiki and Bumi, creating a maternal bond and nurturing a bright future for the young calves.

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The primary goal is to have these young elephants stay at the nursery for up to two years before being moved to Panda-Masuie. Here, they will get ready to join other herds in their natural environment. Jimmiel Mandima, a supporter of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), highlights the special connections that form between animals and humans. He points out the progress made in rehabilitating elephants that have been through traumatic experiences or injuries. In addition, the protected pathway in the Panda-Masuie reserve not only helps the rescued elephants recover but also blocks traditional poaching routes. This effectively protects these amazing creatures and other species as they journey through the area.

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