These photos are the story of an orphaned baby elephant named Unbuntu but called Ellie that was rescued from certain death by two women that work at the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in Zululand South Africa. The women are heavily involved in preserving the dwindling rhino population in Africa but could not pass up the chance to help a baby elephant.
Karen Trendler and Meg Richards found Ellie when she was two weeks old. The little elephant had a huge abscess on her umbilical cord and the mother probably died in childbirth. The women obviously had scant hopes for little Ellie’s survival and did not mention her existence for six months.
Determination, skill, and tender loving care won out. Ellie is definitely on the mend and all signs indicate the “little” elephant will live to adulthood. Little is a matter of perspective in that the baby elephant may weigh between two hundred and three hundred pounds. The baby elephant is huge in weight if not in height compared to the women that loved her back to health.
It is truly amazing to see how completely Ellie has adapted to her surrogate adoptive mothers. Most people would be a bit timid about sharing a bed with an elephant regardless of size but Ellie appears to understand the need for gentleness with her new family.
You get the same feeling from these photos as you would when a lost child has been found or rescued. Nothing can beat that feeling of victory in saving a life. The sheer joy of the experience is reflected in the women’s smiles. These two women literally snatched Ellie from the jaws of death.
You need to share this story and the photos for several reasons. Little Ellie is really cute and looks happy even though she is still a bit sick from her near death experience. The story is definitely unique. You just do not see two women playing with a baby elephant in Africa every day.
The more important reason to share this photographic essay of triumph in the face of death is that Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage is a nonprofit. Their sole purpose is preserving rhinos and elephants from extinction by raising babies that are orphaned.
Read about some of the other rescued babies at the orphanage here.
Donate here to help the orphans at Thula Thula.
The organization needs things. People have donated money naturally but more people in the blog that comes with the Facebook page are donating things that the women specifically say that they need to make their efforts successful. Share a bit and give a bit or your children may see a world without elephants and rhinos.