Orphaned Baby Elephant's Unlikely Yet Heartwarming Friendship

1. Cast Away Calf

A poor baby elephant in South Africa had been abandoned by its own herd. By the time the team of rescuers found him, he had already been on his own for several days and he was in desperate need of care and attention. Luckily for him, the rescuers were determined to get him back on his feet. However, no one expected that an unlikely bond would provide the best medicine.


2. Herd Life

Elephants are highly socialized creatures, so there’s no doubt the best place for a calf is with his own kind. However, after several attempts, experts found that the baby elephant's herd would not take him back, and he was again cast away. Rescuers had no other option but to take things into their own hands. However, after a thorough assessment of the poor animal, they were shocked to find the heartbreaking reason why the adorable baby elephant's herd had left him behind.


3. 1% Chance Of Survival

The rescue team named the elephant calf Ubuntu and affectionately called him Ellie. Once he arrived at the Thula Thula Private Game Reserve in Africa, Ellie received a thorough assessment. The rescuers were shocked to find the little elephant was fighting to survive. He was diagnosed with an infected umbilical hernia, which is fatal in about 99% of cases. Fortunately, his human caretakers were willing to do all they could to save him, but no one could guarantee things would go smoothly.


4. Severe Symptom

The rescue team was determined to help Ellie, and they provided him 24-hour medical care, but there was one problem that needed to be solved. The baby elephant had rejected all the milk and food that the vets were trying to feed him. The rehabilitation center even specially ordered milk from Zimbabwe and Kenya. Still, Ellie refused to eat or drink, and the situation was becoming increasingly critical.


5. Remarkable Solution

At last, the staff at the animal rehabilitation center concocted a special milk formula for little Ellie. To everyone's relief, the elephant calf accepted the formula this time and finally started to eat. With the help of his human rescuers, Ellie's physical condition had started to improve, but another problem arose.


6. Emotional Trauma

It is well known that elephants are very social animals. Abandoned by his herd, Ellie was suffering from severe psychological trauma. "He wasn't showing much interest in doing anything. He was very lethargic, very disinterested." said Karen Trendler, a crisis response expert at the animal orphanage. To help him, the staff tried to introduce Ellie to some new friends, but he wasn’t interested until one particular new acquaintance came along.


7. Duma The Dog

Duma is an adult male German Shepard, who is particularly attentive towards all creatures, including wild animals. When Duma and Ellie first met, no one expected the two would get along since they were completely different species, but what happened next will warm your heart.


8. You Cheer Me Up

"We introduced Duma and the elephant in the sandpile, and it immediately cheered the elephant up." said orphanage expert Karen Trendler with excitement. After meeting Duma, the baby elephant seemed to have found a reason to live again.


9. Never Alone

Despite their differences, the baby elephant and the dog quickly became good friends. They played together in dirt mounds and shared tender moments under the trees. With Duma by his side, Ellie wasn’t alone any longer.


10. Best Buddies

Duma loved his elephant friend so much that he had become very protective of him. The staff at the animal orphanage couldn't even separate the pair. Duma would playfully and protectively run to-and-fro wherever Ellie went. The elephant also enjoyed Duma's offering of sticks or a comforting nuzzle.


11. Miraculously Revitalized

Thanks to his friendship with Duma, the baby elephant seemed to be happy for the first time since he arrived at the reserve. Now that the elephant's spirits were up, and he was also physically healthy, the caregivers started to think about his future. Would he be sent back to nature?


12. Safari Soul Mates

Initially, the wildlife reserve was planning to send Ellie back to nature so that he could be with his own species. However, the strong bond between the elephant and his canine friend made the staff wonder if that was a wise choice after all. Eventually, they decided to keep Ellie at the reserve center so he could make a full recovery. Everything seemed to be going well, but things suddenly took a devastating turn that no-one expected.


13. Turn For The Worse

Just when everyone was finally breathing a sigh of relief, Ellie's health took a sudden turn for the worse. It goes without saying that the caretakers at the reserve were not ready to give up on the baby elephant. However, they had no other choice but to put out an urgent plea for help.


14. Plea For Help

The staff appealed for urgent veterinary assistance on social media. "We need to get IV colloids bought thru for a collapsed elephant calf." The poor elephant had suffered enough and the people at the sanctuary couldn't bear to stand idly by. However, despite all the offers of help, Ellie's septicemia infection had reoccurred and was aggressively spreading. Would Ellie make it through this time?


15. Ultimate End

Despite all the efforts, little Ellie only made it a few more days before he tragically passed away - just five months after he had arrived at the reserve. The intrepid little elephant was brave and tough enough to fight all the obstacles life had thrown at him and he will always be remembered by those that encountered his story. The staff at the animal orphanage buried him in a special place where his spirit can finally roam with the herd.


16. A New Opportunity

Duma the dog mourned for his dear pal Ellie, but it didn't take long before he moved on and made new friends. This time is an orphaned baby rhinoceros.


17. Déjà Vu

It seems that the German Shepard is now the emotional support dog and adoptive parent for all the orphaned animals at the reserve. Like Ellie the elephant, baby rhino Nandi had her own trauma. Poachers had killed her mother, before conservationists took him to the orphanage. The sanctuary staff hoped Duma could help the little rhino with her transition from the wild, but it wasn't easy.


18. When Dog Meets Rhino

When Duma met the baby rhino for the first time, he offered her a fluffy toy puppy. Before long, they became best friends and started frolicking together. At the time, all was perfect, but people began to worry about what would happen when the rhino grew up.


19. The Rhino Whisperer

Luckily Duma is a smart and perceptive dog. He is exceptional at reading rhinos' behavior and seems to know when to get out of their way. So, you have nothing to worry about even whebn baby Nandi is all grown up. Hope the adorable pair can be BFF forever.


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