Love and affection seem to be dwindling from our world. There’s no peace, quiet, tolerance and harmony. Instead, we have wars and political unrest to worry about, both on grounds as artificial as religion and national identity.
Of course, the natural world has faced the brunt of it too. Global warming is at its worst possible wrath, with actual flood pools opening up in the Arctic ice. So much so, a starved female polar bear entered a city in East Siberia just this week in search of food.
Human activity has also continued directly against wildlife. People are poaching, illegally hunting, and capturing beasts and birds way too beautiful for their narrow minds to grasp. Elephants are one such creature. After being virtually wiped out from the western parts of Africa, these magnificent and faithful giants are now increasingly in danger in the Southern and Eastern reaches of the continent.
However, we are here to talk about success stories and not dwell on the imminent death of our planet, hastened by human avarice. In 2016, a baby elephant, Moyo, nearly drowned after being separated from her herd when crossing a river in Zimbabwe. She was rescued, however, and housed at a sanctuary founded and run by one Roxy Danckwerts. The sanctuary is named Wild is Life, very aptly we must point out.
Wild is Life sanctuary has an elephant nursery, and according to their founder, “We rescue babies, and we grow them, rehabilitate them and re-wild them. We are trying to create a culture where people care.”
Moyo was one of their tiniest rescues, weighing 56 kilos, instead of the normal 90 kilos for calves her age. The frail little child was afraid and sickly when Roxy took her in. In the initial days, she would spend her entire day with her, literally 24 hours, even sleeping beside the little calf, in order for her to trust her and pull through.
And she did pull through.
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At 14 months, the dodo did an article on her, where she was reported to be loving as ever, forgetting just how big and strong she was, following Roxy into the house simply because she loved her so much. There was even a photograph of Moyo and Roxy’s pet puppy sitting together. Today, Moyo has grown up and even conquered her biggest fear: swimming. Swimming comes naturally to African elephants, but thanks to childhood trauma, she forgot this instinctual life skill. But today, she has grown up to be quite the ambassador for the nursery, leading her own herd of orphaned elephants as a young matriarch.
Initially featured by the BBC, Moyo was showcased as one of the Miracle Orphans. Roxy confessed that letting go would be hard, given the times they shared. Elephants’ greatest threat is the illegal ivory trade. Moyo played her own little part in persuading President Xi, who absolutely loved meeting her. China did ban the legal trade in ivory in late 2017. But it is the under-the-counter trade that really decimates populations.
Let’s hope for a slightly better tomorrow when such beautiful creatures aren’t slaughtered in the name of illegal trade. That might make whatever time we have left on this blue space marble better.
Sources hyperlinked throughout.
- The Dodo
- The Diplomat
- White wolf pack