Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

Vet Followed Orphaned Baby Elephant And Made An Adorable Discovery.

He Needed Company

He Needed Company

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Ellie's physical health was slowly stabilizing, but his mental condition was a different story. Caretakers like Karen Trendler, a rehabilitation and crisis response expert, said, “He wasn’t showing much interest in doing anything. He was very lethargic, very disinterested.” It turns out that Ellie was all alone and depressed. Elephants require the bonds they form with their fellow elephants in order to survive. But how would Ellie make it without a herd?

Fixing The Problem

Fixing The Problem

Earth Touch / YouTube

The reserve staff had originally planned to release Ellie back into the wild in the hopes that he'd join a new elephant herd or one that was made of other pachyderms that had been orphaned. But medically speaking, he wasn't out of the woods, and on top of that, he was dealing with depression and loneliness. So, the staff knew they'd have to find him a friend that was already in the sanctuary. But there was one issue with that.

There Were No Other Elephants

There Were No Other Elephants

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The Thula Thula Reserve provided sanctuary to a number of species like crocodiles, hyenas, leopards, zebras, giraffes, and buffalos. But unfortunately, Ellie was the only one of his kind. This meant that he would have to make a friend with an animal from another species. But it became clear that the baby pachyderm wasn't interested in making friends with other wild animals. Fortunately, there was someone who was eager to win Ellie over.

Elephant's Best Friend

Elephant's Best Friend

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The staff introduced Ellie to an adult male German Shepherd named Duma, who also lived on the reserve. Duma was a retired police dog, who was tender and full of affection towards everyone, including other animals. But the staff at the sanctuary didn't really know how Ellie would behave towards Duma. So, at first, they decided to put them together in the sand pile and observe quietly, to see how their first interaction went.

The New BFFs

The New BFFs

Earth Touch / YouTube

To everyone at the sanctuary's surprise and relief, Duma's presence had managed to lighten the baby elephant up. “He suddenly started getting a little bit of interest in life again,” shared Trendler. Their relationship improved and their bond grew stronger as Ellie and Duma played together. Eventually, it was impossible to tear these two apart. But Ellie's mood wasn't the only thing that was showing signs of improvement.

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