Orphaned Baby Elephant Rescued After Mourning Its Fallen Mother

A baby elephant was rescued from the African savannah after it was filmed mourning over the body of its parent, who had fallen victim to poachers.

According to the Daily Mail, the baby elephant, named Roi, was photographed playing with its mother just 24 hours before tragedy struck. Less than a day later, Roi’s mother was found dead in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park, murdered with a poisoned spear by poachers who were seeking her Ivory tusks.

[Warning: Graphic Content]

The baby elephant was filmed mourning over its mother’s body, according to AOL Travel, deep in grief and traumatized. Though the 10-month-old temporarily joined a herd, the milk-dependent calf faced a slow death by starvation, as young mothers in the group wouldn’t let the elephant suckle.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust engaged in a dramatic rescue, maneuvering the baby elephant away from the herd before subduing it with a tranquilizer. The baby was then taken by plane to the trust’s elephant orphanage in Nairobi National Park. According to Rob Brandford, the trust’s UK director, Roi is fitting in well with the other orphaned elephants.

“Roi arrived in good health but was clearly traumatized from witnessing the death of her mother,” he noted. “She took milk from the keepers early but was wary and understandably a little nervous around her new surroundings, not trusting the keepers. Once she met the other orphans, she was immediately comfortable and content. “

Brandford continued, “The older elephants paid her attention and provided her with the love and affection she craved and missed. As the days have passed little Roi has settled in completely and is now extremely attached to her keepers, familiar with the routine and is playing once more – she is a confident little elephant.”

Earlier this year, the trust managed to rescue another baby elephant in Kenya, after the infant was filmed crying over the body of its deceased mother. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the elephant, named Sokotei, was also relocated to the trust’s orphanage.

The group currently shelters 82 baby elephants, many of them orphaned under the same circumstances as Roi. Ivory poaching is a major problem in Africa, where one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its tusks.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is hoping to raise £15,000 to continue rescuing baby elephants like Roi.

[Image: Swati Siddharth/ Barcroft Media, via the Daily Mail]