Sometimes, wildlife conservationists stumble upon abandoned animals and know they’re silently reaching out for help. Animals, especially babies, shouldn’t be alone in the wild—waiting unsuspectedly for predators to attack them. It’s through the love and care of conservationists and animal rescuers that help save many of these endangered animals.

That’s what happened to recent rescuers from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), located in Nairobi, Kenya. They were on a routine patrol when they discovered a lost baby elephant. Everyone was about to begin on an incredible, life-changing adventure.

Noticing His Tracks

Rescuers were on a routine patrol near the Tiva River in Kenya. That’s when they noticed a distinct set of elephant tracks along the path, belonging to a calf. However, they quickly observed there weren’t any other tracks near the calf’s, leading the rescuers to believe the baby elephant had lost his mother.

Rescuers knew predators would be quick to target the calf, and he wasn’t old enough to fight other animals. The rescuers quickly followed the calf’s tracks, eventually finding him standing by the river. Of course, he was nervous when they first approached him, but relaxed when he realized they were there to help him.

Taking Him To His New Home

The rescuers decided the baby elephant belonged at DSWT’s wildlife sanctuary in Nairobi National Park. They transported him to his new home and gave him a proper name—Mukkoka.

The wildlife conservationists quickly gave Mukkoka fresh milk. He also ate all the treats they provided. He slowly gained more strength and was growing at a normal rate.

Meeting His New Friends

Once Mukkoka gained enough strength, he was introduced to other baby elephants at the wildlife sanctuary. Like him, they had also been abandoned or lost from their mothers.

The other elephants happily greeted Mukkoka into their playpen. They surrounded their new friend, wrapped their trunks around him, and welcomed him into their growing herd. While Mukkoka may have lost his mother, he now had a family that would never leave his side.

Playing Together

Mukkoka was happy to be with fellow elephants again. He followed them out into the bush, where the herd played together in a safe area.

“Mukkoka was showered in love and affection, particularly by Malkia, Tamiyoi, Sana Sana, and Malima,” said representatives from the DSWT.

The rescuers have noticed Mukkoka has come out of his shell in the past two months he has been at the sanctuary. He plays with his friends, as seen in the video. Every day is like recess for this herd.

Since Mukkoka has arrived at the sanctuary, his health and wellbeing have only continued to improve every day. He has plenty of friends. While he may miss his mother, as no friend replaces the love of a mother, Mukkoka has found a loving, playful herd who filled the hole in his heart.

As it turns out, elephants and humans aren’t that different. All we need is love and good friends to keep us company, and our troubles will disappear.

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