This is the heartbreaking moment when an orphaned baby elephant weeps over her mother’s de.a.th after being slain by a p.oa.cher with a poisoned spear.
Following the ruthless at.ta.ck, the terrified animal, Roi, is seen standing over her mother’s d.e.ad body.
Just 24 hours earlier, the endangered animals had been photographed playing happily together in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park.
The 10-month-old orphan temporarily joined another herd, but she would have faced starvation without her own mother’s milk.
Fortunately, Roi was saved after a daring rescue by wildlife specialists.
During the complicated procedure, the youngster has maneuvered away from the herd, tranquilized, and been placed on a plane.
Roi was taken from the Masai Mara to Nairobi National Park, where she was cared for by experts at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage.
‘Roi was in good condition, yet she had clearly been traumatized by the d.e.ath of her mother,’ according to UK Director of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Rob Brandford.
Ruby was an anxious and apprehensive young girl who was wary of her new surroundings, not trusting the keepers. Once she met the other orphans, she was at ease and pleased.
The older elephants paid her attention and gave her the love and care she desired and had missed.
‘As the days have gone by, little Roi has become more comfortable and familiar with her keepers, knowing the routine and playing once again — she is a brave young elephant.’
Elephant ivory poaching is a major issue in Africa, with one elephant being slain every 15 minutes.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is trying to raise £15,000 to rescue additional baby elephants orphaned by po.ach.ing like Roi.
‘Roi would not have survived without our intervention, and she has been given a second chance,’ said Mr. Brandford.
Donate to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s work by visiting www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org: