Dhara has passed away

Thanks for your support for Dhara.  Please feel free to leave a tribute message in the comments section below.Dhara, the elephant calf, was less than a year old. She was found alone, orphaned during the severe monsoon floods that hit the Indian state of Assam this June.

Dhara and her family must have been fleeing the rising water. Rushing to higher ground she suffered a crippling injury, one that would eventually prove fatal.

She was admitted on June 28th to the IFAW Wildlife Rescue Center in Kaziranga with a severe elbow dislocation on her left front leg. Our team of vets provided immediate first aid, took x-rays of her injured leg and fitted a reinforced cast on the ailing elephant’s leg to stabilize it for the next 21 days.

The Center is currently home to eight orphan elephants. We rescue calves that have been injured, orphaned or displaced and need rescue. Our first choice when encountering injured wildlife is always to treat the animal in the field and help it to rejoin its family. Unfortunately for Dhara, this wasn’t possible and her only chance of survival was to care for her at the Center in the hope that she could recover, and in due course, be released back to the wild.

Caring for an elephant calf and rehabilitating it back to the wild is no simple task. It takes round-the-clock commitment from caretakers, expert veterinary services, and years of experience; still there are no guarantees.

We knew that Dhara’s injury was complicated. Surviving the terrible ordeal of losing her mother and herd during the floods was a remarkable feat in itself; would she also have enough resilience to recover from such a devastating injury?

At her young age, the calf was fed enriched milk nine times a day and had a caretaker by her side at all times. She had regular vet check-ups and the Center staff was encouraged to see Dhara regain her energy, walk around the nursery, eat well, and behave like other elephants.

As planned, at day 21, the cast was removed. Again we were hopeful when we saw that she could bear her full weight on the injured leg and move slowly around her enclosure.

On July 26th she was allowed to go out of the nursery for a short and slow walk. She fell once and did not look stable, so she was quickly taken back to the enclosure. By then, she was unable to stand properly and leaned on the walls for support. A few minutes later the vets put her on an intravenous saline drip.

Dhara’s health never recovered and she passed away on July 28, exactly one month after she arrived to the Center.

A necropsy (animal autopsy) was conducted and the severity of the joint dislocation became evident. Her lungs appeared slightly congested but that isn’t unusual after the fall she suffered and her struggles that last day.

Additional samples were collected and sent to the nearby College of Veterinary Science in Guwahati to run some more tests and get a better idea of the cause of death.  

Dhara had gone through enormous stress the past few weeks – fleeing the floods, being separated from her family, enduring such a painful and severe injury.  Our caregivers poured their hearts into treating her, and so many of our supporters pitched in to help as well. 

Unfortunately, the reality of rescuing wild animals is that sometimes, despite our best care and most hopeful wishes, they simply can’t survive their injuries. 

We’ve had so very many success stories to share with you; it’s inevitable that we have to share some losses as well.  Those moments are difficult and sad, but we know we must move forward with renewed dedication. 

The remaining elephants at the Wildlife Rescue Center…the rhinos and deer we rescued from the same Indian flooding…and the dogs, cats, bear cubs, raptors, and so many other animals we’re caring for around the world remind us how vital and enduring our mission to protect animals truly is.

Thank you for all the well wishes for Dhara, and thank you especially for your incredible support.

--IR

Comments: 347

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

Desperately sad news & very depressing.Well done to IFAW & all their dedeicated staff & volunteers in their efforts to save this wonderful innocent young fellow Earth inhabitant Dhara.Keep up the very precious self-less work you all do to help all animals everywhere who are (usually) suffering/under threat due to acts by mankind.

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

i am so sorry to hear Dhara passed, i was hoping she would survive, so sad news....

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

My heart is broken over the loss of this precious angel. Dhara, may you romp and play in the gardens of Heaven. God keep you in his loving care.

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

To Dhara, so brave, so wonderful, I send you love and peace to you, your elephant family and your human family.

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

tears being shed for you, R.I.P. Dhara......sj.Lilley

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

poor Dhara, its so sad that she wasn't strong enough to survive the terrible ordeal she'd been through. Thank goodness she was found by IFAW and she was given the best traetment and care. thank you all who gave your love and support to Dhara in her time of need. Best wishes from Tracy

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

May God Bless beautiful Dhara in Heaven, and IFAW for all the hard work and care you show the precious animals that deserve all the love, respect and special care you show them. Therese Zadra, Minnesota

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

Heaven has received an angel bless you Dhara sfe journey to your place of rest xxxx

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

Poor little thing - you did your best for Dhara, but she must have been too traumatised and probably pining for her mother, too. Keep up the good work you do. Eileen

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

So sad to her about Dhara, rest in peace Dhara xxx, keep up the good work IFAW team.

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