In a joint effort, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), Save the Elephants and Kenya Wildlife Service came together to save an orphaned baby elephant. But this was no every day rescue. In the case of Sokotei, as he has been dubbed by his saviors, the five-month-old elephant refused to leave his mother's side after she died in Samburu, Kenya. Sokotei's grief was so intense after losing the object of his love that he stood by her side all night, through rain and the threat of nearby predators.
It was a long night for everyone involved. DSWT director Rob Brandford said, "Sokotei's rescue was a battle against time to keep him safe. Throughout the night, teams from Save the Elephants and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust were there to support the young calf and everyone had a long night battling to keep him safe from predators by trying to catch him."
The teams succeeded in the end, tranquilizing the baby, who was at that point severely dehydrated. They transported him to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage, where his ailments were tended to, and he was introduced to other orphaned elephant babies (all under the age of three). In spite of his grief, Sokotei was soon bonding with other orphans, and will one day, idealy, be returned to the wild.
Sokotei at the orphanage.
Baby Sokotei with his new friends.