The staff at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) got a pleasant surprise earlier this month when one of their former orphaned elephants arrived for an unannounced visit.
Galana had been found alone as a baby twelve years ago after her mother had probably been killed by poachers. She was afraid and vulnerable and the DSWT took her in, bottle-raising her until adulthood.
In 2011, the staff decided it was time to let her out into the wild again. Galana set off with a new family – a herd of wild elephants.
But Galana never strayed too far. Elephants have extremely good memories and she came back often to see her rescuers.
On her latest visit to her former home, Galana brought a surprise guest with her. It was her new baby, only a few hours old.
The staff opened the gates to the trust and other orphaned elephants arrived for the celebration. There was a whole group of elephants who had once shared a life together now celebrating a new one. DSWT wrote in a Facebook statement:
They were so excited and overcome with joy of a new baby in the fold, trumpeting and charging around celebrating.
The new baby was the reason all these elephants – to share in the joy. The DSWT team named her Gawa, which means 'share' in Swahili. A suitable name for a calf so special that her mother had to share her with their human family. Amie Alden of the DSWT told The Dodo:
We're proud to have afforded her a second chance after she was orphaned and to provide a safe environment for her to bring up Gawa, protected by the DSWT/KWS Anti-Poaching Teams and our Aerial Surveillance.
To support the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the good work they do in saving orphaned elephants in Kenya, make a donation here. Here is an adorable video of baby Gawa at 6 days old, playing amongst the herd.
Baby Gawa keeping close to mumBaby Gawa, Galana's first wild born calf, is now 6 days old! She's looking great and keeping close to mum, who is proving to be a wonderfully attentive mother.
Posted by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Thursday, 8 September 2016