A New Hope
The Sheldrick Trust are pioneers in making great changes to the lives of animals all across the plains of Kenya. There’s no better example of this than little Kerrio, a young elephant who joined their adoption programme this week. His story highlights how important rescue and recovery is for these animals that are so often targeted for poaching and the ivory trade.
Barely 7 months old, Kerrio once lived in the tribal area of West Pokot, a conflict-ridden area. On August 30th, gunfire polluted the air with smoke and bullets; causing a nearby family of elephants to leave, stampeding in terror. The next morning, distressed cries were heard by local tribesmen, who discovered Kerrio lying on her side, abandoned, unable to stand.
Rescuing the calf proved to be a challenging operation, requiring a helicopter to navigate not only through a conflict zone but a storm as well. The Sheldrick Trust made it adamantly clear that there were no lengths that they wouldn’t go to in order to save a life.
In Nairobi, Kerrio found herself back at the trust’s nursery. A saddening twist in her already devastating story revealed itself: her hind legs were paralysed, almost lifeless behind her. Further examination found sores - Kerrio had trouble with her hind legs for some time. Only now, it had gotten so bad she couldn’t keep up with her family. It seemed as though there was no hope for the calf. Until a miracle happened.
Adapting quickly to her new home, Kerrio summoned the strength to embark on short strolls around the grounds, shuffling her feet as she went. As her legs grew stronger over the next couple of months, Kerrio managed to stand by herself, even joining in with the other orphans and their antics.
Not only is she getting stronger, but she has a new family at the trust. Although all the elephants seem to be smitten with Kerrio, it's a young female named Kinyei who has grown the most attached, forgoing milk feeds and mud baths to remain by the side of her new friend.