The perilous 1,000-mile journey to save Africa’s endangered black rhinos
28 October 2022
UPDATE: It is with broken hearts that we share with you that the elephant calf that was rescued after being found alone in Maputo Special Reserve in early May, has sadly passed away. We honour the team of dedicated medical professionals and caring volunteers for doing their utmost over the past few weeks to nurse her back to health. A special word of thanks also goes out to those of you who donated towards her care and enabled us to try and give her a chance at life.
This week, a three-month-old elephant was saved thanks to the actions of the Muvucuza Community in Maputo Special Reserve, who alerted rangers to the youngster wondering around alone.
A team, led by Mozambique’s National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), Saving the Survivors, Environment Management and Conservation Trust (EMCT) and Peace Parks Foundation, quickly responded. When found, the calf was extremely weak and hungry, and it is estimated that it had been alone for about three days.
Veterinarian, João Almeida from Saving the Survivors, said that it was touch and go for several hours. Although they immediately administered fluids intravenously, specialised fresh milk had to be flown in from South Africa.
After receiving its first feeding in days, the baby elephant slowly gained its strength and hopes are now high for its survival. The team is now working on securing a placement at a recuperation centre.
Peace Parks Foundation’s technical advisor working in Maputo Special Reserve said that elephants very rarely abandon their young, so the baby might have been sick for some time. Our sincerest gratitude to the community who alerted the rangers, as, without their intervention, the elephant might not have been saved in time.
Working together to protect the wildlife in this reserve is critical to conserving its biodiversity. Maputo Special Reserve is fast-becoming one of Mozambique’s top tourist destinations which will greatly improve livelihood opportunities for the local community.
The rescue operation was made possible with support to ANAC, from EMCT, Blue Sky Society, Elephants Alive, Elephant Coast Company, Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, Saving the Survivors and Peace Parks Foundation. Working together in this manner promises a bright future for Africa’s conservation spaces and all who live within them.