It has been a blistering hot and dry season in Zimbabwe, thus far. The images and reports coming out of Mana Pools and some parts of Hwange have been gut wrenching indeed.
In the last few weeks, WILD IS LIFE with the support of @IFAW have rescued five elephant calves out of Mana Pools. These calves have all been orphaned due to the drought, left to face this unforgiving world, in an avalanche of pain and heartache.
Some were stuck in the mud in Long Pool, enduring rocketing temperatures, dehydration, exhaustion and fear. One calf was being eaten by hyena and badly uninjured. Another suffered (and is still suffering) from metabolic disorder bought on by dehydration and struggling in the mud.
These are the lucky ones.
Yet another was hanging around alone at the campsite, and was subsequently attacked and horrifically injured by hyenas. This particular calf, a little female, succumbed to her wounds, despite a valiant effort at recovery.
These images show the incredible dedication of the ground teams who lifted the calves out of their muddy demise. We salute them all. Thanks to @Jens Cullmann for the fantastic photographs.
Whilst the rescues are dramatic, it is the years of rehabilitation ahead of us that we now face. Three years from now, these rescue missions will perhaps have been forgotten. However, at ZEN, we will continue our work, striving towards a wild future for these little and precious lives.
We cannot rescue all the abandoned and orphaned calves. We sadly do not have the capacity nor the resources to do so, nor would it be right in terms of the cycle of life. However, we can rescue some and those little souls offer a modicum of hope to all of those who struggle daily in Mana Pools, witnessing the brutal and unforgiving nature of the wild world.
And, above all, those little lives matter and now have a second chance at life.
I will be posting individual stories of the rescues in due course.
At this time, I would like to thank these people and organisations for their tremendous assistance in this operation:
@ZimParks@ifaw@Mwinilinga safaris@camp Mana@Tess Arkwright and team@Dave McFarland and team@SteveBolnican team@Garth Pritchard and team@Catherine Jennings@January Gweshe@AmosMusante
@Moses Nzou@ParadzaiMutize@JosDanckwerts@Executive Air@DrMarkLombard@DrPrideKapondo@DrCandiss Diamondis@CraigDanckwerts
The whole Wild is Life and ZEN Team
If you would like to donate towards these rescues and rehabilitation, please follow this PayPal link on our website. We would be enormously grateful! Xxx
Source: Wild is Life Trust and ZEN