Zimbabwe: Mwanga Lodge Orphaned Elephant baby Dies

by Feb 1, 2012Elephants

It is with much sadness that we report the death of the orphaned male elephant calf rescued on the 8th January 2012.

The young calf was found abandoned and wondering along the Makuti / Karoi Road. Through the collective efforts of various wildlife organisations, the young elephant calf was transported to Harare and placed under the care of Gordon and Debbie Putterill at Mwanga Lodge.

The arrival of the young calf had raised much public attention with several appeals being generated for his upkeep.

In collaboration with Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Services, the ZNSPCA despatched a senior regional inspector and veterinarian to conduct an initial assessment of the calf. The initial reports stated that the elephant was in a fair condition and concerns were noted with regards to his immediate dietary requirements.

The ZNSPCA team were duly advised that the elephant was receiving private veterinary treatment and that several caregivers would remain with the young calf on a 24hr basis.

The owners of Mwanga Lodge had further stated that they had considerable experience in the raising of young elephant. Given such assurances it was decided that visitations from the ZNSPCA would be conducted on a weekly basis.

On Monday 30th January the ZNSPCA received several communications concerning the continued deterioration of the young calfs health.

The ZNSPCA contacted several international elephant rehabilitation organisations with whom they are affiliated. A decision was reached that blood samples and a detailed veterinary report was required so as to ascertain the exact status of the young calfs health.

Today upon arrival, the ZNSPCA team were advised that the young calf had just died. We have also been advised that a post mortem will be conducted by The Veterinary Services Wildlife Department.

Young elephants generally have a high mortality rate and subsequently require specialised dietary requirements and a protracted period of rehabilitation.

Since the establishment of the ZNSPCA Inspectorate, the work of the Inspectors has been commended locally and internationally, including an award from the NSPCA (South Africa) the Service to Animals Special Award “in appreciation and admiration of outstanding work under extremely difficult conditions” and the Humane Society International Award for Extraordinary Commitment and Achievement.

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