Zim wildlife vets in desperate mission to save elephant calf

2015-09-01 22:01
(<a href=www.shutterstock.com>Shutterstock</a>)

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Wildlife vets in dry southern Zimbabwe managed on Tuesday to locate and load onto a plane, a painfully-thin young female elephant, which had lost the rest of its herd and was likely to be preyed upon.

The authorities had given permission for the vets to airlift the calf, which is believed to be less than 2-years-old, from the hot Beitbridge area to an elephant nursery in Harare, where it will be cared for.

"Plane loaded with Sizi elephant calf and about to get airborne. Prayers now people," said the Aware Trust, which is run by Zimbabwean veterinarians, in a Facebook update on Tuesday evening.

Sizi refers to the natural spring where the calf was first seen alone more than two weeks ago.

Earlier, Aware warned that the mission to save the elephant came "with huge risks". The trust launched a desperate appeal for funds.

"The [elephant] will have to be anaesthetised for three hours during capture and flight, and she is already compromised. We believe, however, it is her best chance of survival," Aware said on Facebook. 

The darting appears to have gone smoothly.

The lonely existence of this little elephant was first brought to the attention of wildlife lovers in mid-August by Vanessa Bristow, who lives locally and saw the elephant at the Sizi spring.

Her Facebook post about the thin elephant, "her spine quite pronounced along the top of her back", elicited an outpouring of comments and concern.

Aware said that after more than two weeks alone, the chances of the elephant's herd coming back to it had now "evaporated”.

"Although she will be eating some solids, calves are milk dependent until they're 3. Without assistance she will likely fade away or be predated on," the trust said.

The elephant nursery in Harare already cares for three young elephants, which narrowly missed being shipped to China along with 27 others from Hwange National Park in July. It also cares for a fourth elephant, Moyo.

The nursery said on Tuesday it was also preparing to airlift an elephant calf found injured and alone near Lake Kariba, northern Zimbabwe.

The rescue is due to take place on Wednesday morning.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  conservation

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.