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

poor little Dhara, hope you're having better life wherever you are

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

RIP Dhara, you are with Mummy now. Your courage has inspired so many to do much more. A big thank you to the team who looked after you x x x

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

Its was very sad to hear of Dhara's passing, I was rooting for her to make it. As someone with pets and who loves elephants, I understand how difficult it is when someone close passes on. I am sure Dhara knew she was loved and cared for immensely. Best regards to all the team involved, take care and keep up your self-less work. It is sincerely appreciated by all of us. Shamu

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

Heartbroken at the death of little Dhara,THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to everyone invoved in caring for Dhara,you are amazing! She was loved and cared for,thank you.R.I.P sweet Dhara,you will never be forgotten,gone too soon,forever in my heart and thoughts.Bless you for all you went through.Thank you.Liz Gillard Xx

 
Ruth Griffiths
1 year ago

Thank you to everyone who helped make the last days of Dharas life as comfortable as possible. You are all true heroes. I just wish i could give you millions of pounds to help all animals in need. you do wonders for needy animals.

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

I was really hoping for a miracle here...hoping that perhaps somehow and against all odds, baby Dhara would recover and live a long happy life...just like in the movies. But once again I'm confronted with the cold reality that is called life, that despite much love and efforts by caring and compassionate people, a baby elephant dies.

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

Thank you and Bless you ,Dhara. Your sacrifice to humanity is noted.
You opened and healed many hearts by your presence.
I love you,
Dancing in Sensible Shoes

ps Thank you to IFAW for your work.

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

I don't understand..I was following up with Dhara's story and it seemed she was recovering and eating well. Maybe her cast was opened too early, maybe she was let out for a walk too early. I don't know but she shouldn't have died. I really believed she can make it. I'm sad beyond words :,-(

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

je suis vraiment triste que Dhara n'aie pas survécu malgré vos efforts . merci à vous de l'avoir soignée et d'avoir tout tenté pour elle .

 
Anonymous
1 year ago

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

Post a comment

Experts

Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Cynthia Moss, IFAW Elephant Expert
IFAW Elephant Expert
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
James Isiche, Regional Director, East Africa
Regional Director, East Africa
Jason Bell, Program Director, Elephants Regional Director, South Africa
Program Director, Elephants, Regional Director, South Africa
Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
Director, International Environmental Agreements
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Regional Director, South Asia