Baby Elephant Found Stranded Alone On An Island (Zambia)


Sarah V Schweig, The Dodo

Date Published

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It takes a village to save an elephant.

That’s what an elephant keeper from David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Elephant Orphanage Project told a group of villagers last Friday during its “Orphaned Elephant Awareness Campaign,” which urges local Zambians to report lonely elephant calves as soon as they see them. Around that same time, the keeper spotted a baby elephant in need, completely proving his point.

The little elephant was all alone on a small island in the Zambezi River.

Local fishermen suggested the calf may have been on the island by himself for nearly two weeks, since no herds had been seen on the island for that long.

Because they wanted to be sure his family wasn’t coming back for him, rescuers waited a few days, monitoring the elephant to make sure he was OK.

When no family showed up, rescuers sedated the calf and carried him to the little boat that would take him off the island. It took ten people to lift and carry him.

Then they moved him to a van and drove him to the elephant orphanage.

They named the year-old baby Muchichili. “[This] is the Goba word for Winterthorn, a tree that grows in abundance on the island where he was found,” read a press release about his rescue.

“When Muchichili saw the other elephants at the nursery, he was very excited and sought close contact with them. The two older elephants took great interest in the new member of their herd. During his first night at the nursery, Muchichili allowed the keepers to handle him and it seems like he is desperate for company after his time alone on the island.”

We’re so glad little Muchichili now has a whole little village to call his own.