A sad reality for disabled elephant orphan looms

The keepers changed the boot’s wrappings at least three times a day and provided intensive wound management when necessary.Suni, the orphaned elephant calf who had been brutally attacked with a machete when rescued three years ago, is facing increasing challenges with her disabled leg and foot. 

After three years of intense treatment, care and monitoring, the Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP) is now facing the fact that Suni will never regain motor function in her right leg and foot.

I, for one, didn’t think she’d survive as long as she did – a testimony to the wonderful care she has received at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery (LEN). Since December 2012, purpose-made supportive boots have enabled Suni to live at the nursery, going on daily bush walks, mud bathing and playing with her surrogate siblings. 

The keepers changed the boot’s wrappings at least three times a day and provided intensive wound management when necessary. Suni also receives daily therapies to help stimulate nerve regeneration, tissue repair and blood flow to the foot.

This has become increasingly challenging as Suni has grown in that time and now weighs 630 kg.

Since December 2012, purpose-made supportive boots have enabled Suni to live at the nursery, going on daily bush walks, mud bathing and playing with her surrogate siblings.She is currently being treated for pressure sores that developed under the boot. Due to inflammation she now has to walk without her supportive boot, causing her pain.

It is hard on her.

We are rigorously monitoring her for further signs of decline in her welfare.

Suni has been an inspiration. The love her keepers have provided her is an inspiration. The incredible support from people all over the world who have donated to IFAW in Suni’s name has been an inspiration

Please join me in sending kind thoughts toward our courageous partners at EOP as they deal with potentially difficult decisions in the days to come.

The Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP) is a project of Game Rangers International, established by Sport Beattie, which works in close collaboration with the Zambia Wildlife Authority and is supported by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and IFAW.

--GA

Post a comment

Experts

Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jeffrey Flocken, Regional Director, North America
Regional Director, North America
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy