The elephant child was lonely and thirsty. In September 2017, the child was two or three months old when villagers found the baby separated from the mother near Boromo in the African country of Burkina Faso. When we got her, she was very young, says Celine Bienvenu, official of the European branch of the International Animal Welfare Fund.
We may have found him within two or three days of his separation from the family. Otherwise he would not have survived. Many orphaned elephants are separated from their families forever. But, the elephant baby survives with the help of villagers from around Boromo, officials from the Animal Welfare Fund and a sheep friend named Whisty. The children of the nearest school have named her Nania or Ichha. Now she is four years old.
The people concerned have had to unite day and night for the upbringing of Nania. Now those who save Nania have a new challenge. They have to see if he can be reconciled with the herd of wild elephants. This process has been unique to Naniya. Just as children separated by DNA technology are reunited with their families, such testing revealed that Nania’s mother was roaming around. Hopefully, one day Nania will also be reunited with her family.
DNA analysis has also revealed that Naniya and her relatives are wild elephants. For the people working to save them, this project is not just about reuniting a young wild elephant with a family. Through this they also want to secure the future of his species.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers wild elephants a separate species. They are different from the larger elephants of Africa. Their species is in danger of extinction. Orphaned elephant cubs are usually found near the dead body of the mother. Not so with Naniya. There is no information about the death of an adult elephant.
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