Orphanage for baby elephants? Amazing (Tanzania)


Editor, IPP Media

Date Published

In efforts to save elephants from wanton killings, Tanzania has charted strategy that would rescue baby elephants whose mothers had succumbed to poachers.
The strategy coined by ‘Silent Heroes’ in coordination with the African Wildlife Trust is to build a facility in Arusha which would shelter young elephants left to fend for themselves after their mothers had been killed by poachers.
This is the country’s first-ever orphanage for baby elephants set to be launched  next month as a new wave of  wildlife poaching threatens the lives of elephants in the country.
Experts say the first 72 hours after they had been abandoned was the most critical time for baby elephants.
They say during this time baby elephants have just witnessed their mothers being killed, they are dehydrated, disoriented, stressed.
When a young elephant will be found alone, it will be air rescued to the orphanage.
If rescued successfully, however, orphaned jumbos will spend between nine and 14 years at the orphanage before being released into the Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania.
As they get older they will be allowed to roam about throughout the orphanage freely, visiting the watering holes and naturally form their own social units- a key part of elephant lifestyles.
We find this strategy very fascinating but at the same extravagant.

True government data shows large-scale poaching for ivory as number of elephants in Tanzania drops from 109,051 in 2009 to 43,330 in 2014 a catastrophic 60 percent of its elephants in just five years.
The situation has piled pressure on a government that has been internationally criticised for its inability to stop a flood of poached ivory being stripped from its national parks.
Tanzania’s elephant population is one of the continent’s largest, however data, released towards the end of last year by the government, showed that when an annual birth rate of 5 percent is taken into account the number of dead elephants is 85,181.
The query is, we are building orphanages for young elephants after their mothers have died or finding means of protecting their mothers from being killed.
How many of these orphanages are we going to build if we let all mother elephants be exterminated by the animal killers.
We still have rhinoceros who are also hunted for their horns. Do we build orphanages for them?
As for human beings: Are we building many orphanages for street children and not tackling problems which cause their resort to streets.
As our passionate gesture towards our animals we bestow them with an orphanage or two but at the same time have find ways of making young elephants enjoy the love of their mothers from preventing poachers from killing them.