It’s easy to look past the good in our world and only see the negatives around us. There’s generally never any uplifting news in the media and if you believed everything they told you, you’d think there was no peace, tolerance or harmony in the world.
Sometimes, for example, the more you read about the human impact on wildlife and the environment, the more you start to hate humans.
We hear too many stories of poaching, illegal hunting, environmental destruction and the needless torture of animals and birds. Elephants are one such animal. They’ve been virtually wiped out from western Africa and these beautiful beasts are also in increasing danger in the Southern and Eastern parts of the continent.
But today, we’re not here to focus on the negatives. We’re here to spread a message of love and compassion and talk about the success stories of humans’ relationship with animals.
Moyo the Baby Elephant
In 2016, Moyo, a baby elephant, almost drowned after being separated from her herd when crossing a river in Zimbabwe.
Thankfully, Moyo was rescued and was taken to a sanctuary called Wild is Life, run by Roxy Danckwerts.
Wild is Life sanctuary has an elephant nursery, and according to their founder:
“We rescue babies, and we grow them, rehabilitate them and re-wild them. We are trying to create a culture where people care.”
When Moyo was rescued, she was tiny, weighing only 56 kilos. Compare this to the normal weight of 90 kilos for a calf her age. The frail baby elephant was sick and very timid when Roxy took her in.
In the first few days of recovery, Roxy would spend literally all day with her, sleeping beside the little calf to build a sense of trust and in the hope that she would pull through.
And she pulled through!
The dodo revisited Moyo at 14 months old, and she was reported to be loving, happy and full of life, while forgetting just how big and strong she was! It was reported that Moyo would follow Roxy into the house and everywhere she went simply because she loved her so much.
Today, Moyo has grown up and she’s even got over her biggest fear – swimming!
African elephants are normally great swimmers and absolutely love the water, but due to Moyo’s childhood trauma, she learn to hate this instinctual life skill. Fast forward to today and she is a true ambassador for the sanctuary and even leads her own herd of orphaned elephants in the role of a young matriarch.
The BBC originally drew attention to Moyo and she was showcased as one of the Miracle Orphans in the TV special. Roxy admits that letting Moyo go free is going to be a very difficult moment given all the memories they’ve shared. Roxy states that the elephant’s biggest threat is the illegal hunting and ivory trade.
President Xi of China met with Moyo on a state trip and she played a part in persuading the premier to ban the legal trade in ivory in late 2017 in his country. Rather than the legal trade, it is the illegal, under-the-table operations that really decimate populations.
We can only hope for a better and brighter tomorrow when these beautiful animals are not killed in the name of illegal trade.