In 2016, a baby elephant, Moyo, almost drowned after being separated from her herd when crossing a river in Zimbabwe. She was rescued, though, and housed at a sanctuary founded and run by one Roxy Danckwerts. The sanctuary is named Wild is Life.
Wild is Life sanctuary has an elephant nursery. Moyo was one of their tiniest rescues, weighing 56 kilos, instead of the average 90 kilos for calves her age. The frail baby was afraid and sickly when Roxy took her in. In the beginning, she would spend her whole day with her, literally 24 hours, even sleeping beside the little calf, for her to trust her and pull through.
And she did.
At 14 months, The Dodo did an article for her. She then was reported to be loving as ever, forgetting how big and strong she was, following Roxy into the house because she loved her so much. There was even a photo of Moyo and Roxy’s pet puppy sitting together. Moyo has now grown up and even conquered her biggest fear: swimming. Swimming comes naturally to African elephants, but due to childhood trauma, she forgot this instinctual life skill. But she has now grown up to be quite the ambassador for the nursery, leading her herd of orphaned elephants as a young matriarch.
Initially featured by the BBC, Moyo was showcased as one of the Miracle Orphans. Roxy confessed that letting go would be difficult, given the times they shared. Elephants’ most significant threat is the illegal ivory trade. Moyo played her little part in persuading President Xi, who loved meeting her. China banned the legal trade in ivory in late 2017. But it is the under-the-counter trade that decimates populations.
Let us hope for a slightly better tomorrow when such beautiful creatures are not slaughtered in the name of illegal trade. That may make whatever time we have left on this blue space marble better.