Nature has bestowed upon us few things more beautiful than elephants. Yet these majestic beasts often live the hardest lives.
Population numbers are dwindling and they are frequently at risk from the scourge of poaching. Thoughtless hunters slay these animals for the ivory in their tusks, selling them on to the black market as falsified cures for illnesses.
However, for every bad guy with a gun, there are two golden-hearted heroes who help rehabilitate injured or orphaned animals.
Who are the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery?
The staff at the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery (ZEN) are coming to the end of a beautiful five-year journey with a group of six ellies. They have overcome the traumatic experiences of their youth and are ready to take to the wild once more.
All the elephants formed a bond, and together with their handlers, they were moved 700 kilometres from the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery to their new habitat in the Panda Masuie Forest Reserve.
ZEN have received plenty of support from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The group have backed the Harare-based nursery and helped them relocate these loving lummoxes to an area where they can run free once more.
Why Panda Masuie?
IFAW explained why the animals were moved to Panda Masuie. It turns out that the location is home to the biggest single population of elephants anywhere in the world, so these newbies will immediately feel at home!
“With support from IFAW, ZEN has committed to a 25-year lease for 34,500 hectares (85,215 acres) of land that connects Zambezi National Park in the north to Kazuma Pan National Park in the south.”
“Bridging these fragmented habitats will help protect the place these elephants once called home, and provide threatened elephant populations with safe passage as they migrate between national parks.”
Everyone involved with ZEN and IFAW deserves all the credit that is humanly – or, “elephantly” – possible to give. Their commitment to the well-being of our friends in the wild knows no bounds, and as the ellies eventually leave the aftercare programme, they’ll regain the freedom that was cruelly taken away from them.
We all love a happy ending, even if that means having to stifle a few tears of joy…
Watch these orphaned elephants get re-introduced to the wild here: