Some truck drivers were on their way through Botswana last weekend when a baby elephant popped out of the bushes by the side of the road.
The drivers, from AfriAg transport company in Johannesburg, South Africa, had stopped because of a downed bridge in their path when the baby elephant appeared, seeming to ask them for help.
The men approached the tiny elephant cautiously. As they got closer, they realized he seemed terribly thirsty, so they let him drink from one of their own water bottles.
And even though the men scanned the horizon, neither the baby’s mother nor his herd was anywhere in sight.
The truck drivers knew they had to do something more than just give the roughly 3-week-old elephant a drink of water. So they loaded him into their truck and, after the bridge was fixed, they dropped him off at a nearby sanctuary.
Posted by Chantelle En Rudi Beyleveld on Saturday, 25 February 2017
“According to our information, the baby was taken to Botswana Elephant Sanctuary,” Paul Oxton, founder and director of Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation, told The Dodo. “In our opinion Botswana as a whole has one of the most remarkable, ethical and compassionate wildlife conservation strategies in the world.”
Indeed, the country recently banned elephant riding and has taken real steps to conserve elephants and their habitat, serving as a model for other countries.
“Because of the efficacy of the nationwide strategy, we trust that this baby will get the very best treatment and care possible,” Oxton explained.
So even though the baby lost his mom at such a young age, he’s in good hands — but he still has a long way to go.
“Baby elephants are notoriously fragile,” Oxton said. “Even if he’s treated very well and appears to be strong at first, it might still be a long road before it can be claimed that he has fully recovered.”
Because elephant populations have plummeted in recent years due to habitat loss and poaching for ivory, every single elephant counts for the survival of the species.
We’re rooting for this little guy.
To help save other baby elephants who have lost their way, you can donate to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Source: The Dodo