The sound of a trumpet marks the culmination of this heartwarming video, which highlights the exceptional nature of elephant families. These magnificent creatures have a gestation period of 22 months, and their females spend their entire lives in the company of their mothers, raising their own offspring in a familial network that includes grandparents, aunts, and siblings.
In situations where tragedy strikes, and young calves lose their mothers, we intervene and provide them with the care and love they need through our Orphans’ Project. To date, we have successfully rescued and provided a family to 282 orphaned elephants. Nonetheless, our primary goal is to preserve wild families and ensure that they remain together whenever possible.
On the 4th of March 2022, we were informed about a distressing incident involving a young calf that had fallen into a water hole. Our skilled SWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Team, along with Keepers from our Voi Reintegration Unit, acted swiftly and rushed to the scene to rescue the stranded animal. Upon arriving, they were greeted with a heartbreaking sight: the herd had tried everything to save the calf, and the mother was left pacing around helplessly. If left unaided, she would have had no choice but to leave her helpless baby behind.
As the mother struggled to rescue her baby, her spirits began to sink rapidly. However, our Keepers remained optimistic and confident that they could still reunite the two. Thanks to their years of experience, they had successfully reunited many separated animal families in the past. To execute their plan, they drove their vehicle close to the water hole, causing the mother to flee. Then, in a swift and well-coordinated effort, the team retrieved the baby from the trough and guided it towards the mother, who nervously waited nearby. Although undocumented, this operation required all hands on deck to ensure its success.
As soon as the elephant mother saw that her baby was no longer trapped, she transformed into a picture of pure happiness. It was a heartwarming sight to see them reunite. Initially, when they arrived on the scene, the mother was feeling down and defeated. But as soon as her baby was freed, it was like a switch had been flipped. The mother elephant became a different animal altogether. With her ears flapping and tail held high in disbelief, she charged towards her baby. When she finally realised that it was indeed her calf, she let out a series of exuberant trumpets that were filled with joy and relief.
Finally reunited, the small family walked in perfect harmony, just as nature had planned. As they were about to leave, the mother elephant turned to face her rescuers and gave them a grateful and acknowledging trumpet. We have seen this expression of appreciation many times before, but it never fails to remind us of the importance of these gentle giants. The mother and calf then disappeared into the vast plains of Tsavo, ready to continue their legacy.