(Cape Town, South Africa – 22 August 2022) – A female elephant calf has been rushed to safety after being rescued by a community in a remote part of Zambia known as a wildlife crime hotspot.
The female calf—estimated to be about four months old—was spotted lagging behind a large herd of elephants close to the Zambezi River in the Rufunsa region last weekend. The heard abandoned her after she was heard crying and appeared to be in distress.
“She truly is one very lucky little elephant,” says Neil Greenwood, Director of Wildlife Rescue for IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare).
“The calf might have died or been killed by poachers but the compassion of the community saved her. They called our partners, Game Rangers International (GRI) in Lusaka, for help, and their team drove through the night to reach Chikumbi village and bring the elephant to safety,” he said.
The elephant—named Chikumbi in honour of the community that saved her—has been taken to the brand new Elephant Nursery operated by GRI and Zambia Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in Lusaka National Park.
The Elephant Nursery is a state-of-the-art facility funded by IFAW with the support of Sinking Ship Entertainment. The Nursery is located at the GRI-Wildlife Discovery Centre and cares for rescued orphaned elephant calves, nursing them to full health to eventually be released into the wild at Kafue National Park. The Wildlife Discovery Centre opened on August 8.
IFAW is a global non-profit helping animals and people thrive together. We are experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans and in more than 40 countries around the world. We rescue, rehabilitate and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats. The problems we’re up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organisations and businesses. Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. See how at ifaw.org
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