After an elephant killed a woman from a community in Kimanjo, Kenya last month, locals set after the herd for revenge.
Rangers found the elephant responsible and killed it, causing the herd to stampede in fear and leave a young calf behind.
Enraged locals started attacking the 2-month-old baby elephant. They speared her and children threw rocks at her when she sought refuge in a nearby school.
The David Shledrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) was contacted by the warden of the Naibunga Conservancy and a rescue operation was quickly drafted.
“It was a heartbreaking scene for our team to find the calf secured on the floor of a classroom, stressed, injured from the attacks, and extremely traumatised,” a DSWT keeper said.
“Our team set about attending to the tiny baby elephant, all the while communicating with the community trying to explain things while preparing her for the journey back to the safety of the DSWT Nursery in Nairobi National Park.
“She had experienced unimaginable trauma that day, and was extremely lucky to still be alive, all thanks to the swift work of the Naibunga Conservancy warden called Peter.
“She responded to the tender loving care that she received from our team of keepers and fed well, clearly dehydrated by this time.”
After much hostility from locals, the baby elephant, now named Mbegu, was flown to Nairobi where she will live free and looked after until the age of 3, when she will be transferred to a reintegration centre.
“She was placed in a stable next to Ashaka. Keeper Mishak who was in the stable with Ashaka next door looked at the tiny calf and said she must have come from a ‘tiny seed’ as despite having all her teeth already she was by far the smallest of them all,” DSWT stated on their website.
“Seed in Swahili is Mbegu. It seemed like an enchanting name for a very sweet and beautiful baby, a baby who escaped death by some miracle.
“Her wounds were cleaned and treated while many of the Nursery elephants sensed her arrival and began bellowing and this comforted her enormously hearing the familiar elephant sounds.
“Mbegu is a perfect little treasure, incredibly playful and full on nonsense, and given her tender age has bounced back from her emotional scarring very quickly and is now totally at home in her new environment and is genuinely happy.
“We would like to thank all those who worked so hard to save her precious life under extremely challenging circumstances.”
To help the DSWT with the costs of the rescue operation and Mbegu’s treatment, please consider fostering her. Click here for more information.