Wandering alone in the forest, this heartbroken baby elephant was rejected by his family after being reintroduced to the wild. The three-month-old baby, called Gold, was first separated from his mother after falling into a well dug by illegal loggers 20 miles from Buon Don in Vietnam. Rescuers spent two weeks nurturing the young animal back to health in the hope he could be reunited with its family.
Volunteers tried to encourage Gold to rejoin his herd by pushing the baby towards them – and at first it seemed like his attempt had been a success. But his team’s joy turned to ᴅᴇᴠᴀsᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ when he was found alone less than twelve hours later, some distance from the area where he had been left. Dr. Veasey said:” Gold’s mother may ɴᴏᴛ have been in the herd at all, or she may ɴᴏᴛ have recognized him as he had been away for two weeks and smelt of humans and human baby milk. Maybe her milk had dried up and she was no longer lactating.”
Gold ʟᴏsᴛ his family in March after he got trapped in a well dug by illegal loggers, who cut down rainforest trees to sell timber. While the adult elephants were large enough to reach the well’s water supply with their trunks, Gold’s smaller stature meant he fell in when he tried to drink. Rescue workers had to move the rest of the family away from the well to sᴀᴠᴇ Gold without being ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋᴇᴅ themselves, as elephants in Vietnam are nervous around humans and view them as a threat. Despite hopes that the herd would eventually return and find the baby, the adult elephants had been sᴄᴀʀᴇᴅ off by the human presence. Now Gold is living in temporary accommodation while Animals Asia builds a sanctuary to care for him and other elephants.
Dr. Veasey said:” Gold was so depressed and lonely that we worried he might ɴᴏᴛ survive. Gold had been showing signs of ᴄʜʀᴏɴɪᴄ sᴛʀᴇss – pacing back and forwards diagonally – and trying to suckle everything because he misses his mother’s teat. Volunteers have ordered specialist bottles for the baby elephant, and hope that when a new sanctuary is built, his health and wellbeing will improve. Currently there is just one other elephant in the temporary corral with”