At the beginning of July 2019, a male elephant calf, only a few days old, was found on its own at the border of Tanzania’s youngest National Park Burigi-Chato. The night before, a herd of elephant had ventured out of the park and into neighbouring plantations, but was chased off with help of the rangers. It was only the next morning that the little calf was found lost and on its own . Much effort was made to locate the herd, but it couldn’t be found and therefore the little bull needed immediate rescue.
Our team rushed to the scene and found little Burigi in the hands of caring rangers. Burigi being named after the location of his rescue. The colour of his skin was still pinkish, he was indeed just a few days old and starting to get weak. He was airlifted without delay and brought to our center. Within a day Burigi developed a serious infection and needed surgery. Fortunately after the initial treatment, the little elephant bull recovered well. Thereafter Burigi has always been an extremely cheeky, but happy little bull. He quickly bonded with his caregivers and loved physical touch during his siesta out in the bush, he used to climb and sleep on top of his caretaker, rather than beside him.
Burigi learned rather quickly to gulp his bottle down and finish his milk in half the time other calves needed to finish theirs. He also learned how to pick up and hold the bottle himself for drinking. Once the bottle is empty, it gets discarded with one swing of his trunk.
Nowadays Burigi is developing and growing well. He likes to demonstrate his strength now and then – even if it is only by chasing a peacock. Tail up, ears out, trumpeting and running as fast as he possibly can, trying to catch the very annoying peacock that – of course – can just take to flight when things get too critical, much to Burigi’s disappointment.