The German Shepherd and the Baby Elephant, an Unlikely Friendship

November 10, 2019
What happens to baby elephants when they are rejected by their herd? Is there anyone who is willing to help them? Read on to find out what happened to Ellie, the baby elephant, and his unlikely friendship with a German Shepherd.

As we know, animals don’t take appearance, age, or species into account when making friends. This is demonstrated by stories such as the one we want to tell you about today. It’s the incredible story of a sick baby elephant and a German Shepherd that helped to save his life.

Where did these two different animals come from, and how did they meet? How did two such different creatures come to be such great friends? Read on below to learn their story!

Meet Ellie, the baby elephant

There’s an animal shelter in South Africa that was originally dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of rhinoceroses. They take care of baby rhinos that have been the victims of poaching, which is a very extensive practice in Africa. However, when they found out about a certain baby elephant, they made an exception.

This baby elephant was taken to the animal shelter after he was rejected by his family. Elephants are herd animals; they usually don’t go on their own anywhere. It would be devastating for an elephant not to be part of a herd. Just imagine how the little elephant must have felt!

Despite many attempts to integrate with his herd, they rejected him. When he tried to join another herd, that herd also rejected him. Why? We’re not sure, but it may have had something to do with a giant hernia and abscess the elephant had thanks to an infection in his umbilical cord. An infection and open abscess of this type is usually fatal.

A ray of hope for the elephant

They say that after the storm comes the calm. And this baby certainly found hope after arriving at the rhinoceros shelter in Thula Thula.

The shelter workers thought that he wouldn’t make it. It wasn’t just the huge hernia. He also developed a severe intolerance to lactose. It really looked grim for the little guy. However, despite the odds, the little elephant, affectionately known as Ellie, gradually got better.

These dedicated shelter workers worked tirelessly to help him recover. They even created a milk substitute for Ellie. It was a special mixture of foods and minerals that would give him all the nutrients he needed.

They gave him all the care that was necessary, and of course, the love and affection that he craved. It wasn’t long before Ellie’s condition started to stabilize.

However, there was another problem. As we mentioned above, it’s devastating for an elephant if they are not part of a herd. Living with a family is in elephants’ nature. Ellie was on his own, so even though he was improving physically, he started sinking into depression.

An unlikely friendship blooms between a German Shepherd and Ellie the baby elephant

There was a dog called Duma that lived at the rhinoceros shelter. He might have originally been the pet of one of the shelter workers, or even just the pet of one of the many people that volunteer there. Whatever the case, he now lived at the shelter permanently.

The shelter workers introduced the German Shepherd to the baby elephant. You could really say that he saved Ellie from depression. When they met, they started to play together, and as if by magic the elephant recovered the will to live.

A true friend shows love at all times and is a brother who is born for times of distress.

-Bible proverb-

This friendship between the dog and the elephant grew and flourished despite the differences between the two in species, behavior and appearance. Ellie finally had a family! Small, but at the end of the day a small family is still a family. His very own herd; a place where he belongs.

Happily ever after for the baby elephant and the German Shepherd?

The shelter workers aren’t sure what the future holds for Ellie, since elephants usually need to live with a herd. However, thanks to this mini family that these two animals have created, for the moment Ellie and Duma are happy together.

It wouldn’t be the first time that an elephant has survived apart from its herd thanks to receiving love and care from other sources. We really hope that Ellie will continue to improve and thrive thanks to his amazing and unlikely friendship with Duma, and the hard work of the wildlife shelter.

Since the time when the shelter in Thula Thula accepted Ellie, they have now broadened their horizons, accepting all kinds of wildlife that need shelter and a home. The center now takes in all injured and orphaned wildlife to treat and care for them, and rehabilitate them back into the wild.

So there you go. Another story that shows that friendship has no boundaries, that with love everything is possible, that true affection can overcome the odds, and that being kind to all would make this world a better place, not just for animals, but for everyone.

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