What a joyous surprise!
On September 1st the once rescued African elephant Loijuk returned to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust where she had been rescued as a calf 14 years previously. With her was her adorable calf Lili, just hours old, and two other once-rescued elephants who she has chosen to be nannies for the calf.
Together, along with other wild or re-wilded elephants, this stitched together family will protect and guide Lily through her life, all through the protective and watchful eyes of the Trust. The rescue organization has documented 31 other calves born to rescued mothers, and untold numbers sired by rescued bulls with wild mothers.
Like the recently freed orcas, these calves have shown the world that rescued wildlife can be returned to the wild to live life as nature intended.
From the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust:
Loijuk when she was rescued in 2006. Photo Credit: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
To bear witness to Loijuk becoming a mum, after we spent so many years performing a parental role and preparing her for a wild life, is the greatest reward for our endeavours.
Moments like these are precious and priceless. We are grateful to all of our foster parents and donors for your support, which enables us to be there for orphans in need, so that in the fullness of time, they can live the lives they deserve.
With mum Loijuk by her side and protective nannies Naserian and Ithumbah also on-hand, as well as our ever-watchful field teams looking out for them all, Lili has a bright future ahead of her and we look forward to watching this little girl grow up in the wild.
To learn more about our Orphans’ Project, visit https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/projects/orphans