HERD takes in elephant calf found ensnared

Posted by Anita Froneman on 22 February 2021

The Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD) added a new member to their family on February 19. A young female elephant calf was found caught in a poacher’s snare in a private game reserve in Phalaborwa with severe wounds and lacerations.

‘She was found alone with no herd in sight. Our HERD elephant care team and our trusted veterinarian advisors estimate that she is around 400 kgs and 2,5 years old,’ the organisation wrote on Facebook.

‘The snare was found wrapped around her head – she had managed to dislodge it from the ground, like Khanyisa. Judging from the condition of her wounds, it is likely she had been suffering from the snare for a very long period of time.

‘She is in good care now, but is extremely scared and defensive, not allowing anyone to come near her, which is understandable. We have a long road ahead to rehabilitate her and will provide further information shortly,’ HERD added.

The organisation has since posted more updates on her recovery and says she is doing well.

‘Her spirit is so strong! This brave elephant has mostly definitely willed herself through a very dark time, and all by herself. Our heart broke when we got a closer look at her wounds. They are severe. It is going to take a lot of love and time and care to rehabilitate her and help her heal not only her wounds but her broken heart too,’ they posted.

Wildlife veterinarian Dr Peter Rogers from Provet Wildlife Services has visited to treat the little calf and said the wounds must be at least 1 – 2 months old.

‘The good news is that she is eating well, drinking average, and sleeping standing up mostly (which is mostly preferred with wild elephants as it is less risky). When she feels safer she will no doubt start sleeping lying down,’ HERD added. The organisation has not given the little one a name yet.

‘We did not rescue her, but we will rehabilitate her and reintegrate her with the Jabulani herd when she is fully healed.’

Take a look at HERD owner Adine Roode interacting with the shy calf:

Below, Dr Rogers shares an update on her wounds and the initial stages of treatment to help clean and protect them.

The organisation is always in need of donations to continue their wonderful work. If you are interested, you can donate by going to: https://herd.org.za/product/donate/


Also read:

HERD: SA’s first elephant orphanage


Picture: Screenshot from Facebook

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