New Orphaned Elephant Rescued in the Lower Zambezi
January brought a new addition to the orphan herd at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery when a young male was rescued from an island in the Lower Zambezi.
The young elephant calf was first reported on 8 January and Ivan, Head Keeper at the GRI - Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP)
who was in the area could respond immediately. Thanks to the support from Kanyemba Lodge & Kanyemba Island Bush Camp
and Muchichili Safari House, Ivan was able to access the island and determine that it was a milk dependant calf who had been alone on the island for up to two weeks, according to reports from local fishermen. EOP decided to monitor the calf for a couple more days in case its herd would return. Ivan was ably assisted by two Wildlife Police Officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW, formerly Zambia Wildlife Authority-ZAWA
The EOP Rescue team was generously assisted with boats, staff and equipment from Kanyemba Lodge. The young elephant was found and sedated by a vet from DNPW. Then followed the labour intensive procedure of carrying the calf to the boat, which required the manpower of 10 people. Back at Kanyemba Lodge, even more manpower was required to carry the calf, still sedated, from the boat and up to a Land Cruiser, kindly provided by Conservation Lower Zambezi with the EOP rescue crate ready with browse for the journey. During the drive back to the Lilayi Elephant Nursery (LEN), the calf was calm and standing up the whole time.
The calf is approximately 1Â½ years old. When he was rescued he was dehydrated and malnourished, and had exposed ribs, thin and patchy skin and warts on his trunk; all common symptoms for elephants in distress and poor health. He has been named Muchichili, which is the Goba word for Natal Mahogany, a tree that grows in abundance on the island where he was found.
Muchichili has quickly gained in strength and his health has improved significantly during the month since he was recued. He has quickly settled in at the LEN and is kindly sponsored by Muchichili Safari House in the Lower Zambezi.