Woman Rescues Orphan Elephant Who Was Washed Away In Flood – Follows Her Human Mom Into Her House

Nov 23, 2020 by apost team

Moyo was just a few days old when she was found by rangers and brought to the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery back in 2015. A small calf at the time, Moyo required much extra care from Roxy Danckwerts, the founder of the rescue, who became something of a surrogate mother to her. 

Moyo grew to become very attached to Danckwerts and would follow her everywhere – including into her home! 

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

According to BBC1, rangers had found Moyo after she was washed away from her herd and almost drowned. The rangers brought her to the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery, an elephant sanctuary in Zimbabwe. The nursery is part of the NGO Wild is Life, an organization that has rescued and rehabilitated sick wildlife for over twenty years.

Danckwerts took an immediate interest in the orphaned calf, whose infancy meant she needed a lot of extra care. 

"Moyo is a very iconic little elephant. She is probably one of the smallest elephant cubs ever to be rescued," Danckwerts told CGTN in 2018. 

"She came to us when she was about three to four days old. We weighed 56 kilos, and normally an African elephant cub weighs about 90 kilos."

"So she was very very small. I slept with her, I was with her 24 hours a day, and I think that's part of the reason why she managed to pull through."


The two grew closer as Moyo grew older, and she eventually started following Danckwerts wherever she went, wreaking havoc along the way.

"In the beginning, I used to make Moyo's milk in the kitchen. So she used to follow me in here," Sanckwert told the BBC. But even as Moyo started growing too big the home, she didn't seem too bothered. 

One year later, Moyo still considered Danckwerts' home her own. Whenever the rescue worker would sit on her sofa on the veranda, Moyo would jump on to snuggle up next to her. 

According to Danckwerts, the elephant took a particular liking to the kitchen. "She loves silver, it's really interesting," Danckwert says. "Talk about an elephant with a silver spoon in her mouth." 

The sanctuary's matriarch.


Now aged around six-and-a-half, Moyo has grown up to become a surrogate mother herself. According to CGTN, she has become a matriarch at the animal sanctuary, taking in other orphaned elephant calves when they first join the park.  

"She's a real little princess," Danckwerts says. "But she's the most wonderful animal. She is gentle, calm, very very nurturing to the other elephants that come into the nursery. She is also very good with people."

Moyo's story has become such a hit around the world that she's become something of a wildlife protection ambassador herself. Earlier this year, her story was featured in a documentary by Ruptly about ivory scale poaching in Africa.

Wild is Life was founded in 1998 by Roxy Danckwerts in her home in Zimbabwe. At the time, she would only rescue a few small orphaned animals and nurse them to health in her backyard before releasing them back into the wild. 

"My childhood was based around animals… animals always came first in our extended family! Horses were the passion of my mum, her sister, and my Grandmother, so we lived on a farm with a riding school, cattle, sheep, dogs, cats, owls, hamsters, ducks, geese … the works," Danckwerts told the BBC.

Twenty-two years later, the organization has grown exponentially and contains two branches: The Wild is Life Trust and the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery (ZEN). The two units work together to rescue, rehabilitate, and re-wild orphaned animals, and their work has become crucial in a country where illegal poaching is still rampant. 

According to the African Wildlife Foundation, Zimbabwe has become a hub for ivory poaching over the past two decades. The country's elephant population has reduced by 36% since 2000 as a result – something which has contributed to the growing number of orphaned elephants in the wild. With no survival skills and still reliant on their mother's milk, these calves will almost certainly die without being rescued. 

Today, Wild is Life hosts several wild animals, including penguins, lions, cheetah, giraffes, monkeys, tortoises, and many more. In 2015, the sanctuary opened its doors to the public as a means to raise awareness and help raise funds to cover costs. 

Check out lil' Moyo in the video below!

Have you ever met such a cute elephant? Do you have a pet that follows you everywhere you go? Let us know in the comments — and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family! 

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