Zim conservationists battling to save baby 'Africa'

2016-01-25 18:00


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Zimbabwe - Conservationists in Zimbabwe say they are facing a "tremendous battle" in their bid to save a baby elephant which was found being chased by people and dogs in the north of the country.

Africa, as his rescuers have called him, is believed to be only a few weeks old.

He was found "covered in blood" and "utterly confused and terrified" earlier this month on the edge of Hwange National Park, the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery (ZEN)'s Roxy Danckwerts said in Facebook post. 

The nursery, which is located in Harare, has taken in the young elephant.

Hwange has been the scene of a horrific spate of cyanide poisonings of elephants in recent months, with at least 61 elephants killed.

It's not clear what happened to Africa's mother and the rest of his herd.

Investigations have however revealed that three elephant cows were recently poached in the area. 

The nursery was visited by Chinese President Xi Jinping in December.

The sanctuary has taken in and nurtured a number of baby elephants, including Sizi, an elephant rescued from Beitbridge in September last year. 

Three elephant calves initially captured for export to China are also being cared for at the sanctuary.

Although Africa was covered in blood, he has no injuries.

He was airlifted to Harare last week after reportedly spending a week in the dedicated care of the national parks and wildlife authority.

"He has an umbilical hernia which is somewhat worrying. However, his spirit is strong and he has energy and enthusiasm," Danckwerts said.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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