Help us support orphan elephants

Help us support orphan elephants

From Evon Hulse

We are trying to raise funds to donate to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Fund.

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Update #6

almost 5 years ago

Zongoloni’s heartbreaking story has made grown men cry. This unfolded on Sunday 22nd September.
We first heard about the plight of her mother when we were contacted about an injured female with her calf, within the bush lands of the Taita Sisal Estate. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit was immediately deployed to treat the mother and in order to do so her young calf was also anesthetized. A victim of poaching, a bullet wound had penetrated deep and shattered bone on the right front leg of her mother. Dr. Poghon cleaned the wound and treated her with painkillers, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drugs, but with a bullet possibly still embedded within the bone and bone fragments evident the prognosis for a successful recovery was guarded. Everybody there hoped that this story would end happily.
A week later the injured mother and calf were again sighted on the Conservancy within the estate. It was noted that her shoulder remained very swollen but it appeared that she could put more weight on the leg. Fortunately her condition did not appear to have deteriorated, it seemed at this point that the outcome would be ultimately positive.
Very tragically after a week passed the collapsed mother and her calf were located by patrolling scouts on Mgeno ranch. She had obviously collapsed a couple of days before as evidence of her desperate struggle to get back to her feet was evident all around where she lay. She was in a distressed condition from the injury, but also because the pair had clearly been without water or food for some time. Her young calf remained by her side at all times, chasing off any intruders, extremely protective of her mother, but her condition was deteriorating too without milk or water. Those that first located the collapsed mother with her dependent young calf waiting helplessly by her side, observed her drinking her dying mother’s urine she was so desperate for fluids. Under the scorching sun, this heartbreaking scene played out, the agony of a single bullet wound and the pain and suffering it wrought as the weeks past.
It was at this point that Angela Sheldrick was contacted by Kevin Carr-Hartley and his wife Jen from the Taita Sisal estate after they had alerted KWS and the mobile veterinary team. It was clear that the baby was in desperate need of rescuing if she was to live, and sadly her beautiful mother needed to be euthanized and put out of her misery. When the DSWT/KWS Anti-Poaching team from Voi arrived on the scene what they witnessed was so heartbreaking that some were moved to tears. Watching on as this young milk dependent calf stood bravely protecting her dying mother, frightened and confused, robbed of her family.
The DSWT Nairobi rescue team were by this time on their way. This was one of two rescues our teams were undertaking on this day, as another calf was being rescued from Amboseli National Park. When the DSWT Keepers landed at the Taita Estate airfield they were immediately taken to Mgeno Ranch. The calf was captured by the team, tranquilized and prepared for the journey back to Nairobi, and her mother was then euthanized.
During the 1 ½ hour flight the dehydrated calf was placed on a life saving drip. The team arrived after night fall back at the Nairobi Nursery, and she was off loaded and placed into her stockade next to Vuria with Faraja with Jasiri on the other side. The company of the other elephants was comforting for her and she even took some milk from a bottle clearly still calm from the effects of the tranquilizer. She was named Zongoloni, the Taita name for a hill located close to where she was rescued.
Zongoloni is approximately 18 months old and was extremely aggressive once the tranquilizer had worn off, and any chance of her taking milk was doubtful, but thankfully she began to feed well on the browse brought into her stockades. Every day during her stay in the stockades the others would be fed around her enclosure so as to give her a sense of new friends, their routines and to show that the Keepers were friendly. Having experienced what she had, Zongoloni was extremely difficult to tame down. It was 12 days before she was tame and comfortable enough taking milk from a bottle, and to join the other Nursery orphans out in Nairobi National Park.
When she was finally let out of her stockade to roam free in the forest with the other elephant orphans and their keepers, we were still concerned that she may run away. Zongoloni remained aggressive, but had by this time become extremely attached to the milk bottle. She amazed us all when she was let out for the first time, as she settled immediately, and fell into the routine of the Nursery orphans seamlessly. The other Nursery orphans were not initially as accepting of her as we had hoped, but as each day passed Zongoloni became more comfortable with her new elephant friends, and them with her.
Despite her heartbreaking journey we hope that in time the memory of her mother’s trauma and the family lost will fade. We hope she is able to embrace a new life and find true happiness again amongst the many baby elephants around her who have suffered similar losses.
Her story, along with many before her is such a graphic reminder (as if that is needed) of the price that is paid for ivory.

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Help Us Raise Money to Support the David Sheldrick Wildlife Fund

On December 27, 2013 a 4-person team from Knoxville, TN will travel to Kenya to donate money and supplies to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The DSWT’s mission is rescuing and hand-rearing elephant and rhino orphans. The DSWT also runs 8 full-time Anti-Poaching and Desnaring Units, 3 Mobile Veterinary Units and the Sky Vets initiative, 3 ‘Aerial Surveillance’ planes while also being active in ‘Saving Habitats’, ‘Conservation Initiatives’ and ‘Community Outreach’.

Hi, I am Evon Hulse. My husband Russell and I are dentists in Knoxville, TN where we focus on providing in-office and surgical dental care to the children of East TN. Having already adopted 6 elephant orphans ourselves, we decided the next best way we could help during our visit to DSWT would be to provide dental and other “hard-to-get” supplies to the children around the Tsavo Conservation Area. Over the last few months we have collected toothpaste, toothbrushes, soccer balls and CamelBacks to distribute.

In addition, we need your help to raise $5000 by Christmas Eve to donate directly to the DSWT. As you can imagine it is very expensive to fund the many crucial projects they have. 

You can view videos and other details of some these projects by clicking on the pictures above or by visiting http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support.

Evon, Russell, Tanya and Van

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Evon Hulse posted a new update:
almost 5 years ago

The rescue of Zongoloni

Zongoloni’s heartbreaking story has made grown men cry. This unfolded on Sunday 22nd September.
We first heard about the plight of her mother when we were contacted about an injured female with her calf, within the bush lands of the Taita Sisal Estate. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit was immediately deployed to treat the mother and in order to do so her young calf was also anesthetized. A victim of poaching, a bullet wound had penetrated deep and shattered bone on the right front leg of her mother. Dr. Poghon cleaned the wound and treated her with painkillers, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drugs, but with a bullet possibly still embedded within the bone and bone fragments evident the prognosis for a successful recovery was guarded. Everybody there hoped that this story would end happily.
A week later the injured mother and calf were again sighted on the Conservancy within the estate. It was noted that her shoulder remained very swollen but it appeared that she could put more weight on the leg. Fortunately her condition did not appear to have deteriorated, it seemed at this point that the outcome would be ultimately positive.
Very tragically after a week passed the collapsed mother and her calf were located by patrolling scouts on Mgeno ranch. She had obviously collapsed a couple of days before as evidence of her desperate struggle to get back to her feet was evident all around where she lay. She was in a distressed condition from the injury, but also because the pair had clearly been without water or food for some time. Her young calf remained by her side at all times, chasing off any intruders, extremely protective of her mother, but her condition was deteriorating too without milk or water. Those that first located the collapsed mother with her dependent young calf waiting helplessly by her side, observed her drinking her dying mother’s urine she was so desperate for fluids. Under the scorching sun, this heartbreaking scene played out, the agony of a single bullet wound and the pain and suffering it wrought as the weeks past.
It was at this point that Angela Sheldrick was contacted by Kevin Carr-Hartley and his wife Jen from the Taita Sisal estate after they had alerted KWS and the mobile veterinary team. It was clear that the baby was in desperate need of rescuing if she was to live, and sadly her beautiful mother needed to be euthanized and put out of her misery. When the DSWT/KWS Anti-Poaching team from Voi arrived on the scene what they witnessed was so heartbreaking that some were moved to tears. Watching on as this young milk dependent calf stood bravely protecting her dying mother, frightened and confused, robbed of her family.
The DSWT Nairobi rescue team were by this time on their way. This was one of two rescues our teams were undertaking on this day, as another calf was being rescued from Amboseli National Park. When the DSWT Keepers landed at the Taita Estate airfield they were immediately taken to Mgeno Ranch. The calf was captured by the team, tranquilized and prepared for the journey back to Nairobi, and her mother was then euthanized.
During the 1 ½ hour flight the dehydrated calf was placed on a life saving drip. The team arrived after night fall back at the Nairobi Nursery, and she was off loaded and placed into her stockade next to Vuria with Faraja with Jasiri on the other side. The company of the other elephants was comforting for her and she even took some milk from a bottle clearly still calm from the effects of the tranquilizer. She was named Zongoloni, the Taita name for a hill located close to where she was rescued.
Zongoloni is approximately 18 months old and was extremely aggressive once the tranquilizer had worn off, and any chance of her taking milk was doubtful, but thankfully she began to feed well on the browse brought into her stockades. Every day during her stay in the stockades the others would be fed around her enclosure so as to give her a sense of new friends, their routines and to show that the Keepers were friendly. Having experienced what she had, Zongoloni was extremely difficult to tame down. It was 12 days before she was tame and comfortable enough taking milk from a bottle, and to join the other Nursery orphans out in Nairobi National Park.
When she was finally let out of her stockade to roam free in the forest with the other elephant orphans and their keepers, we were still concerned that she may run away. Zongoloni remained aggressive, but had by this time become extremely attached to the milk bottle. She amazed us all when she was let out for the first time, as she settled immediately, and fell into the routine of the Nursery orphans seamlessly. The other Nursery orphans were not initially as accepting of her as we had hoped, but as each day passed Zongoloni became more comfortable with her new elephant friends, and them with her.
Despite her heartbreaking journey we hope that in time the memory of her mother’s trauma and the family lost will fade. We hope she is able to embrace a new life and find true happiness again amongst the many baby elephants around her who have suffered similar losses.
Her story, along with many before her is such a graphic reminder (as if that is needed) of the price that is paid for ivory.

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Evon Hulse posted a new update:
almost 5 years ago

I am going to the IWorry march in Washington DC Oct 4th!!!!!

Say NO to ivory!!! The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust created the IWorry campaign and on October 4th there will be several marches taking place in cities around the world. Please contribute and support my efforts to help the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust by going to https://fundly.com/help-us-support-orphan-elephants

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Evon Hulse posted a new update:
about 5 years ago

Check Out My Latest Campaign Update. Mashariki was found and rescued on 8/21/2013!!!

The orphaned calf was sited alone by a Tour Driver on the 21st August 2013 in the Sobo area of Tsavo East National Park by a Tour Driver. The tour driver monitored the calf for a while and saw that it was staggering and in a state of collapse. Its location was passed on to the Voi Elephant Keepers who immediately mounted a rescue and having driven to the area, spotted the orphan after an hour’s search. It was very weak and easily captured.
You can view her entire rescue video at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vDH-83uIJU

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Evon Hulse posted a new update:
about 5 years ago

This is a great article that was posted in the NY Times yesterday by National Geographic Photographer Michael Nichols.

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Evon Hulse posted a new update:
about 5 years ago

This morning I awoke to very sad news. Little baby Ajabu has died

Heartbreak at the Nairobi Nursery
It is with profound heartbreak and sorrow that we have to announce the death of our precious Nursery baby, Ajabu, rescued the day she was born on the 4th April, 2013 having been found abandoned near the Tsavo East Park airstrip. Upon arrival she was given an infusion of Elephant Plasma since it appeared unlikely that she had been able to benefit from her mother’s first Colostrum milk that contains the antibodies vital to survival. Thereafter she thrived, fed milk on demand throughout the day and the night, and diligently protected from the chill by being always covered with a warm blanket.
She was late in teething, but when she began cutting her first molar, the usual difficulties appeared, but Ajabu never lost her appetite and weathered them, managing to cut 2 molars by the time of her death. However during August, whilst we as a family were down in Tsavo overseeing our field projects, it was noticed that Ajabu’s back feet were turning inwards slightly, which in the past, according to our experience, has baffled everyone but been a pre-cursor to the death of infant teething elephants. This was extremely alarming - a sign that all was not well with our precious Nursery baby.
Then on the morning of the 21st August, her Keepers reported that fluid was coming from her trunk, and that, unusually, she had refused her usual morning milk feeds and was “dull”. Our donated Blood Diagnostic machine was out of order, and has been sent to Germany for repair, so a sample of her blood was sent to the Nairobi Hospital for analysis. The results astounded us for everything was normal but for an extremely low platelet count. With no indication of a bacterial or viral infection, the suspected pneumonia could be ruled out. Could the platelet defect be as a result of a Vitamin D deficiency, through not having been exposed to sufficient sunshine during the very cold and miserable Nairobi winter months of June, July and August? Ajabu had been protected from chill and the possibility of pneumonia (a major killer of baby elephants) by being covered by a blanket when out and about. Could this have proved counterproductive with this newborn calf?
She was put on intravenous plasma drip in an attempt to boost her platlet count, but tragically, little Ajabu while comfortably lying on her mattress in her stable stopped breathing in the evening of the 21st, and surrounded by her grief-stricken human family she passed away very quietly and peacefully at 8 p.m.
The death of such a cosseted infant elephant is a heartbreak indeed for many. She was so dearly loved by us and all her Keepers, as well as by her hundreds of foster-parents throughout the world who have diligently followed her progress through the Fostering Programme’s monthly Keepers’ Diaries. She will also be deeply missed by all her little elephant friends currently in the Nursery, none more so than Sonje her very special surrogate mini mum. But, we have to emulate the wild Elephant mothers who suffer bereavement so stoically and bravely, and who despite grieving and mourning a loss as deeply as us humans (perhaps even more so), yet set us the example by having the fortitude and endurance to turn the page and focus on life and the living. We must give thanks that we were able to share the life of little Ajabu which for her were almost 5 very happy months that otherwise would have been denied her. And that during that time she was surrounded by caring and the same boundless love that her human family would have given her, and that she had a pain-free and peaceful end overseen by those who cared and loved her deeply.

For us, the need to focus on the living came within 30 minutes of Ajabu’s death, for yet another tragic infant elephant orphan arrived in the Nursery, rescued and flown in from Tsavo East National Park, landing in the night and arriving at the Nursery shortly afterwards. This new yearling baby is emaciated and far from well - in the usual fragile condition of those who simply can no longer keep up with the herd where the Elephant Matriarch has had to make the decision to focus on the living.
Ajabu was loved by all the Nursery orphans but none more so than Sonje.

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Evon Hulse posted a new update:
about 5 years ago

Meet Vuria... This is the newest arrival at the orphanage!!

This little guy was found alone on July 28th and rescued on July 31st. The link below will take you to a video of his rescue!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Lo7eovhaPDY&t=0
Please help us reach our campaign goal on #Fundly! You can donate as much or little as you want. Check it out: http://fundly.com/pmtqbzd3
With Gratitude-Evon

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