HESC new home for orphaned elephant calf

On 16 February, The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) took custody of a 5 week old elephant calf. He had been found after falling into a draining hole at the Phalabora (stet) Copper mine in the vicinity.

Employees at the mine reported the stranded calf to Wildlife Supervisor, Johann McDonald. Scuff marks on the scene indicated that his herd tried to bend down to rescue him from the hole. They probably left the scene at around 06h00 when workers started arriving at the mine.

McDonald and his team got the calf out of the draining hole and loaded him onto a pick-up truck to see if they can’t find his herd. They found a breeding herd in the area and twice tried to reintroduce him, but the herd’s matriarch just pushed him off his feet.

Towards midday, they called in the help of Elephants Alive’s. Dr. Michelle Henley and her the team rushed the calf to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC), where Dr. Peter Rogers’ team rehydrated him and oversaw his recovery from the trauma and severe heat that he was exposed to over the course of the day.

The tiny calf of 114 kg and about five weeks old was named Amanzi – water in isiZulu.

Amanzi is fed with a special milk formula that was donated to HESC. Two elephant grooms from Camp Jabulani are taking shifts to be with him while HESC’s curators see to his frequent milk feeds.

Follow the story on HESC’s FB page.