A week after the death of Rozz William (from the Poetics) her two calves were separated from the family. Days later they were seen just a short distance from their family but hastily moving in the opposite direction. STE’s effort to try and divert them back to their family were fruitless. The only option was now to translocate the one-year-old calf to a nearby orphanage to increase her chances of survival and hope the older one would rejoin the Poetics.
Our new mission when on Long Term Monitoring was now to try and find the poetics and see if the 6-year-old calf had returned ‘home’. The good news is that Wendy, a member of the Poetics, has a satellite collar and pinpointing their exact location was made very easy. However, elephants walk amazingly fast and getting their location on Google Earth does not guarantee you will catch up with them.
At the start of the rainy season all the elephants began moving south from Buffalo Springs National Reserve and the Poetics were among these elephants. On 17th August almost a week later we finally came across the Poetics in Buffalo Springs and hidden in the back of the family was the orphan!
Overcoming all the odds on the way between Shaba National Reserve and Buffalo Springs National Reserve she had made it. Although she was a bit skittish and nervous we could see she was right where she wanted to be. The amazing thing is that she has found a ‘mother’ in Sappho and a brother in Sappho’s 1-year-old calf. The following day we went back to Buffalo Springs to try and see if the calf was still with the family and she was there. Both times she was following Sappho and her calf and further monitoring of the family will help us confirm whether she has been adopted by Sappho or not.
For now we are just happy she found her way back home!