Animals are simply amazing. While most humans are “roughly” the same size, animals can run the gamut. There are tiny little things like mice and massive things like elephants. Today, we will be looking at the latter of those two animals. Recently, the Bumi Hills Foundation in Zimbabwe received quite a strange patient that came walking in — a giant and wounded elephant. This elephant had made a long and painstaking journey and how it ended up where he did was simply strange. No one knows how or why this elephant made its journey, but read on to see more about it.
Somehow, this elephant managed to get all the way to a conservation foundation in Zimbabwe despite a pretty bad injury to its left shoulder. As you can imagine, the staff were extremely surprised to see a massive elephant on their doorstep, out of nowhere, that came in as a walk-in patient!
When most animals are hurt or wounded, they will try to manage the pain on their own. The last thing they would want to do is leave their water source and comfortability. But despite this, the large elephant (later named “Ben”) did just that when he went and wandered out of the bush.
The staffers at the foundation were extremely shocked when Ben the elephant showed up on the doorstep. Just how did this elephant know where to go? It’s hard to say whether Ben simply got lucky on his search, or whether he had some kind of instinct that told him exactly where he should go.
People at the foundation were extremely shocked that Ben was even able to get there. Somehow, the giant bull elephant was able to climb up to the lodge, which is located on a very steep hill. This would’ve been a tough climb for a healthy elephant, let alone one with a hurt shoulder.
The spot where the elephant was first seen was on a high ridge, which was obviously not where he began. This elephant taking such an amazing walk simply defies logic, as most injured animals would decide to stay on the level ground, and near a water source. But this animal decided to a take a chance, and it paid off.
Unfortunately, when Ben arrived, their expert was away for the weekend, so they had to call in a substitute. It took around six hours for another expert to arrive, during which Ben waited patiently. He was just hanging out, sipping water from a bucket, waiting to be helped when the expert arrived.
One of the most interesting things about Ben is that he was very calm when he arrived, and after the expert checked him out. Normally, elephants are pretty skittish and aggressive but for some reason, Ben was totally calm and allowed the staff to get up close and personal with him.
But despite the fact that the elephant was so calm and relaxed, the staff still thought it was a good idea to tranquilize him upon the arrival of the expert. They sedated Ben so they could get closer and get a better idea of his injuries. After that, they found a laceration on his shoulder that looked to be about a month old.
After scanning the elephant, they thankfully found no leftover shrapnel in the animal, and he was able to recover. But there were other wounds on the animal, including bullet holes in his ears, which was proof that the animal had been targetted by poachers at some point in his life.
Sadly for Ben and other elephants in Africa, poaching is fairly common and prevalent in the area. In various studies carried out in Zimbabwe, experts say that there has been about a 75% decrease in elephants in the area, and something needs to be done about poachers in areas like this.
While these statistics are worrying and horrific, they have brought about a conversation about conservation of this amazing animal. In March 2016, The Burmi Hills Foundation was founded. This organization is a non-profit based in Zimbabwe which works to protect animals and their environment from poachers of all kinds.
In only a few short months, the foundation has already been fairly successful. Since the creation of the organization, they have raised thousands of dollars, and Ben’s story has garnered media attention from all over the world. The organization and its staff are truly humbled by the experience and support they have received.
So there you have it, this elephant was very hurt and somehow had the ability and wherewithal to make it to the perfect place he needed to go. This is a shocking and strange occurrence. It is totally possible that the elephant just got lucky and was just wandering aimlessly, but this is not the only option. It is possible that, somehow, this elephant knew where to go and that once he got there, he could be helped. Either way, the intelligence and drive of this elephant to preserve its own life is truly inspirational and shows just how smart these animals can be.