When we hear stories about baby animals, our hearts melt. But this story has a sad beginning… It’s about a baby elephant that got his name after being saved from the place he was attacked: Sattao. Some tourists noticed that he was injured and they immediately announced Kenya Wildlife Service and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
They soon dispatched a rescue team and searched for the injured calf. The poor animal has been attacked by jackals and his family was nowhere to be seen…
20. A Terrible Sight
The executive director of David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), Angela Sheldrick, stated that the rescue team found the calf very easy and that it wasn’t looking too good. You won’t believe what she said…
19. Lions and Jackals
‘With the infamous Tsavo lions plentiful in that area, it was a miracle that he was still alive,’ said Angela Sheldrick. The poor baby elephant had injuries on his ‘rear end and hind legs’. He needed help, fast!
18. A Helping Hand
Angela continued saying that ‘due to his wounds coupled by poor condition, it was evident that we needed to respond fast.’ The injured calf was also emaciated and very dehydrated. but everything would get better…
17. The Voi Reintegration Centre
As soon as he was placed in the truck, the small elephant was heading to a nearby rescue center, where he got his fill of milk and rehydration salts. There, the team estimated that the calf was no older than 3-4 months!
16. Elephant on the Plane!
This baby elephant got to see the world from above the second day after being rescued. He was going to the Nairobi National Park, where there’s an orphanage operated by the DSWT, which was specially built for elephants and rhinos.
15. Why Was The Calf Alone?
Angela said that it might remain a mystery, but the orphaned calf could be due to some ‘poaching causalities in the area around this time and it is possible that one of these victims was his mother’. And then that happened…
14. Being Abandoned
If the calf remains without his mother, he continues walking with the herd. But he still needs to drink milk, and with his mother gone, the calf loses his strength and gets left behind. The herd abandons him because he can’t keep up.
13. This Could Be Sattao’s Case
Angela presumed that the baby elephant went through the same thing ‘because he was incredibly thin and dehydrated when eventually found.’ What she said next broke our hearts…
12. A Terrifying Fate
‘It is hard to imagine how frightened and stressed he must have been, all alone in such a hostile environment,’ said Angela. Being only two-three months old, this baby calf was orphaned and attacked by predators!
11. Poaching is a Threat
Elephants are prey to poachers and Africa is an easy target. But conservationists are fighting and helping these elephants, protecting them from poachers that want to make money out of the elephants’ tusks.
10. It Took Time and Patience
Sattao’s health was going to get better, but it would take him a long time until he recovered. What might have helped him a lot were other baby elephants that were there to play with him.
9. Cleaning the Wounds
The staff at the orphanage took care of Sattao and made sure his wounds were cleaned and treated daily. Time passed and he started filling out and he was more active. He would soon be ready to get into the Trust’s Fostering Program.
8. Caring for Sattao Day and Night
The baby elephant’s keepers took care of him day and night and they even heard him snore! And while he was getting better, Sattao made a lot of friends, and you won’t believe whom he has impressed!
7. Getting All the Attention
This baby elephant has even melted the hearts of the older elephants that have ignored the calves so far. Sattao has a best friend, called Tagwa, that keeps on trying to take him into the forest to show him around!
6. Motherly Love
Angela said that the orphaned babies receive the ‘love and comfort of our older females, Mbegu and Godoma, who are lavish in their attention of the young babies’. They receive guidance and reassurance from their adoptive mothers.
5. A Great Help
‘It is a marvel to watch this beautiful, gentle nurturing nature of elephants,’ said Angela. She remembers that their most difficult cases have been solved with the help received from the ‘resident elephant orphans’…
4. Sharing the Will to Live
The resident elephants at the animal orphanage have shared the will to live with the new little orphans that were brought and they helped ‘healing the traumatic scars of loss’, said Angela. So far, Sattao is doing great!
3. Close Relationships
On sheldrickwildlifetrust.org, there are constant updates on their baby elephants and the residents. The last entry was at the end of March 2018. They said that there is a strong relationship between ‘the matriarch Mbegu and her little adopted baby Sattao.’
2. A Funny Baby Calf
The animal orphanage where Sattao and the other rescued elephants live get visitors all the time. And when school children come to see them, Sattao loves to scare them away. This is what they said about him on their website…
1. It’s A Child’s Play
Finally, Sattao learned how to have fun. And he did this: ‘he posed quietly beside the rope, as soon as any of them worked up the courage to come closer, he turned and raised his ears and scared them all away again!’
It’s so great to see that the terribly injured baby calf is now safe, healthy and happy, living with others of his kind!