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.


Comments: 347

5 years ago

très triste

5 years ago

Hallo Dhara!

Viele wollten dir helfen in Zukunft wieder ein Elefantenwürdiges leben führen zu können.
Leider kam es anders als alle wollten. Schade das du es nicht geschafft hast.

Machs gut kleine Elefantendame.

5 years ago

I am so sorry she didn't make it. So sorry. But I'm extremely glad there are people out there doing the very best they can for all animals. They need our care and attention, and they also make us better people. RJ

5 years ago

Sincèrement, il est vraiment malheureux de constater la mort de Dhara malgré tous les soins prodigués par les experts d'IFAW. Nous devons rendre hommage à son courage et à sa volonté qui lui a permis de s'accrocher à la vie avec une terrible blessure. Mais cela ne doit pas nous inciter à la passivité. Luttons pour ceux qui, comme Dhara, sont en situation critique dans le monde. Nous avons la force de changer les choses, et d'apporter notre soutien aux animaux en péril. Si le décès de la jeune éléphante m'attriste profondément, il m'engage aussi à agir davantage pour sauver les autres, car il montre à quel point de tels animaux, forts et imposants, sont fragiles malgré tout. Merci à toutes les équipes d'IFAW et à tous ceux qui les soutiennent.

5 years ago

Vindt het heel erg dat dhara het niet gered heeft.
Maar jullie hebben er alles aan gedaan,wat in jullie
vermogen lag om haar te redden.

5 years ago

Manchal sind Gottes Wege unergründlich! Dharas lLbenskampf war sicherlich nicht umsonsont. Aber: Jetzt geht es ihr auf jeden Fall gut; sie ist angekommen!!!

Allen Tieren Glück, Barmherzgkeit und tatkräftige Lebenshilfe von lieben Menschen!

Mit solidarischen sowie herzlichen Grüßen an alle Tierschützer
Olivia Rotzoll

5 years ago

ALL animals deserve help when it's needed and protection. It's our duty as the "intelligent" species to do all we can.

5 years ago

Je sais que vous faites le maximum pour sauver les animaux en détresse tant par les conditions climatiques que par la méchanceté des humains c'est tout à votre honneur. Les animaux ne pleurent pas mais ils souffrent comme nous malheureusement ils sont victimes de l'ignorance, de la bêtise et de la méchanceté des humains. Je vous tire mon chapeau pour tout ce que vous faites même si parfois vous n'arrivez pas à sauver tous les animaux comme DHARA qui a bénéficié de beaucoup de soins et peut être adouci ses derniers jours, vous ne baissez pas les bras, les animaux ont besoin de nous tous. Merci

Continuez donc avec le concours des anonymes qui aiment les bêtes, dont je fais partie


5 years ago

Wat afschuwelijk dat Dhara het niet gered heeft. Jullie hebben er alles aan gedaan en ze leek zelf ook zo sterk.
Ik heb heel veel bewondering voor jullie inzet, bewogenheid en liefde voor de dieren.
Met vriendelijke groet,
Barbera Schaap, Langstraat 31 in Tricht.

5 years ago

I love Dhara, I know she has set an example for our world to move into love and respect to all animals. May her light shine even more bright on our world as a reminder of how each being has so much live to give. :( you are loved!

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Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
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