Elephant Shot by Poachers Flees to Humans for Help

· February 1, 2018
Whether this incident was merely a coincidence or the animal approached the people with the certainty that they would help, is still a topic up for debate.

This news story is simple but surprising and, as always, is told from the human perspective. An elephant had been shot by hunters, managed to escape, and arrived at a house to ask its inhabitants for help. The fact is that the elephant recovered from his wounds and the story, until now, has a happy ending.

Ben, the elephant shot by poachers

The incident occurred at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, a luxury tourist complex in western Mashonaland, a province in the Republic of Zimbabwe. The region is characterized by prolific wild life and beautiful landscape dominated by Lake Kariba.

Ben, as was dubbed the protagonist of this story, became yet another victim of poachers that luckily were unable to catch him. Nevertheless, the elephant was left with two bullet holes in his left ear and a wound in his shoulder, where the projectiles ended up lodging. What’s more, he was noticeably limping.

The complex staff gave the animal water, as he had apparent signs of dehydration, and asked veterinarians to come help. But meanwhile, the wounded elephant stayed near the hut with some Bumi Hills employees.

wounded elephant
Source: Bumi Hills Foundation

There was large media coverage of the news story. It not only sparked the debate of whether the animal decided to ask for help or if it happened by chance. But also, the story draws attention to the indiscriminate killing of these creatures for precious ivory.

Learn how the shot elephant was cared for

The vets sedated the animal in order to tend to his wounds. Then, they installed a tracking device. This way they could evaluate the elephant’s progress later when he would leave the complex premises.

Some time went by, and then Ben was sedated again in order to give him additional treatments. And, they checked the status of his wounds. Upon verifying that everything was fine, they removed the tracking collar.

The news of the wounded elephant that had asked humans for help made an impact in the media. Then, a social media campaign began to raise funds to cover the costs of Ben’s treatment.

Elephants, victims of poaching

Statistics show that every day 100 African elephants are killed by poachers who seek mainly ivory from the tusks, but also their meat and other body parts. These beings have inhabited the continent for 60 million years. Yet, they could become extinct in 2025 if we don’t stop the killings.

There are restrictions worldwide for the use of ivory. However, poaching continues because the demand for ivory increases in Asia’s growing middle class.

According to estimates, confiscated ivory is only a small part of what poachers move as contraban. In actuality, In fact, the number of confiscations has grown in recent years.

Figurines vs. elephants

elephant

Ivory is that hard, compact and white material that makes up the teeth of mammals. It is sadly something that is many cultures value.

It is used to make, among other things:

  • Decorative statues
  • Bracelets
  • Jewelry boxes
  • Tableware
  • Figurines
  • Piano keys
  • Domino and chess pieces
  • Hairbrush handles

Many humans go out of their way to save elephants like Ben. Yet, others seem to care very little that poachers savagely kill them for their tusks.

Source: Facebook Bumi Hills Foundation