An Elephant Ripped Of Her Freedom
IFAW has been working to end ivory trade and the illegal poaching of elephants for many years. Here is a story that depicts the realities individual elephants face who are impacted by poaching.
The elephant in this story, 'LaLa,' was a baby Asian elephant orphaned after her mother was shot twice by a poacher in Laos. After the mother dragged herself over to the China side of the border, with her baby in tow, she laid down and died. The baby stayed by the mother's side for quite a long time, trying to pick the mother up with her trunk, trying to lift up her legs to make her walk again, and rubbing up against her. People started to crowd around when word got out about what happened and the baby started to circle around the mother, as if protecting her. Eventually, the baby, exhausted by both fear and incredible sadness, lay down and curled up by her mother's side and fell to sleep.
Unfortunately, after the baby was rescued by local officials she was brought to a center that was completely unfit for elephants. She lived in a concrete room where she was chained to the floor. She eventually died here.
This is an example of the horrid reality individual elephants and family groups experience in the face of poaching. Unlike in other parts of the world, in China, if a baby elephant is orphaned, there is no place suitable for him or her to be taken. This is in contrast to India and Kenya, where there are elephant rescue and rehabilitation centers which IFAW supports that will take in orphaned elephants, hand-rear them, and eventually re-release into the wild.