VIDEO: Abandoned By Herd - Baby Elephant Heartbroken Till...
Elephants are extremely social creatures, so when animal rescuers in South Africa found a sick little guy abandoned by his herd, they were very concerned about his wellbeing. At first, the dejected elephant seemed to have lost all interest in life, but then he found a friend that brought him out of his funk.
The elephant, named Ellie, was rescued by Karen Trendler and the staff at the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa. They tried several times to re-integrate him into his herd, but they wouldn't have anything to do with him. They finally realized that Ellie was suffering from a seriously infected umbilical abscess and septicemia.
It took a while to treat Ellie's illness, and things looked grim for a while. Most elephants with that serious of an infection don't make it. To make matters worse, Ellie developed an intolerance to all kinds of milk. Volunteers struggled to come up with a formula to feed the baby.
Even when his physical health began to turn around, Ellie's mental health was not improving. According to Trendler, he was lonely and depressed. He had no interest in life, in anyone or anything going on around him.
That's when Duma showed up. Duma is a German shepherd, a retired service and sniffer dog. As soon as Ellie saw Duma, she perked right up. The two began to play together and soon became inseparable. Duma has become very fond of, and very protective of the baby elephant.
Ellie will eventually need to be reintegrated into a wild herd, or into a herd formed of rescue elephants. But for now, he's growing up with great care and the love of a friend that he so desired.