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Adorable orphaned calf whose entire family was killed by lightning strike is taken under the wing of friendly older elephants

Orphaned after a lightning strike killed his parents’ herd, baby African elephant Eliot had a traumatic start to life.

But since being rescued on Christmas Day and taken to a sanctuary aged just three days old, he has been helped through the tough times – by two friendly older elephants.

Like Eliot, his new playmates Kadiki, aged three, and Beatrix, one, were also orphaned and narrowly escaped death.

Kadiki survived deep wounds after a lion attack at only a day old, while Beatrix was rescued after she became trapped in a gully.

When Beatrix arrived at the sanctuary, Kadiki took on the role of mother. Pictures of Kadiki gently wrapping a reassuring trunk round Beatrix captured the hearts of Mail readers last year.

Now they are passing on their love to three-month-old Eliot. All three live at the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery near the capital Harare. Animal campaigner Roxy Danckwerts, whose charity Wild is Life runs the site, said: ‘The other two immediately comforted Eliot because they’ve been through it. The intensity of the emotion and care is extraordinary.’

Academic research has revealed elephants typically have ‘very strong social bonds’ within family groups.

Once the three are strong enough, the nursery hopes to move them to a reserve near Victoria Falls – which is safe from poachers – to integrate with wild elephant herds.


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Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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