Ellie was an elephant calf that was rejected by his herd. Nobody knew why, but when he was found alone and sickly, he was brought to the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage. The rhino sanctuary is located in Zululand in South Africa, and it houses many other endangered species aside fro rhinos.
At first, staff and volunteers at the sanctuary tried to integrate Ellie to his former herd. But they still refused to take the young calf in. Then to make matters worse, they discovered that Ellie had an umbilical hernia and sepsis. Usually, this meant a 99 percent chance of death.
Beating the odds
Caregivers at the rhino orphanage devoted themselves 24/7 to the care of the baby elephant. And amazingly, all their hard work paid off. Ellie survived thanks to his treatments and the constant attention he received. But the battle wasn’t over.
As highly sociable animals, elephants need their herd as constant companions and support. Without his herd, Ellie seemed lethargic and disinterested in life. He was always alone, except for the people that took care of him. He needed someone to play with, and that is where a German Shepherd named Duma comes in.
An unlikely friendship
The staff at the sanctuary were getting worried. If the elephant’s depression starts to grow worse, it can adversely affect his health. That’s when they decided to introduce Ellie to Dumas. Dumas has just recently arrived at the sanctuary after retiring as a service and sniffer dog.
The two animals instantly hit it off. Ellie’s interest for life quickly came back, Dumas was also very fond of the elephant and eventually became very protective of him. Ellie and Dumas would always play together and would often roam the grounds alongside each other.
Ellie is doing much better at the moment, but she eventually will need to be part of s herd. They plan to integrate her into an existing herd, or maybe start a new one with other elephants who have been rejected by their herd too. But for now, Dumas is all the companionship that Ellie needs.
Source: Earth Touch via Youtube