Posted October 28, 2019 in Africa
Action for the Wild first started supporting the Elephant Orphanage Project in Zambia in 2010. Since support began, we have donated over £53,000 to this project. On the 10th September, one of the project’s female orphaned elephants, Chamilandu, made history as the first Zambian orphaned elephant to deliver a wild born baby.
Having roamed free in Kafue National Park for the past four years, Chamilandu returned to the project’s elephant boma to give birth. It was incredibly significant that Chamilandu returned to the boma to give birth, as she lacks an older female elephant support network, and, alone in the wild, her calf would have been extremely vulnerable to predators.
The entire orphan herd showed huge interest and excitement in this new addition as they welcomed back their matriarch. As the eldest elephant in the herd (13 years) she has been instrumental in mothering every orphan that has come her way. In a sense, preparing for the birth of her own calf for the last 11 years.
With the calf’s increasing energy, she is varying their daily movements, alternating from walking alone with him, to joining her ‘old herd’ (the older orphans with whom she has the closest bond), to moving with the entire Release Herd.
The birth of the calf, now named Mutaanzi David, is an amazing milestone for Game Rangers International and the Elephant Orphanage Project, representing a 11 year journey helping to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned elephants; symbolic of their hopes for the future, in which humans and wildlife will co-exist.