Not to be confused with Lugard, Lissa the elephant’s “third born wild baby“.
Date of Birth*: 1 November 2015, a Sunday
*DSWT orphaned elephants are assigned approximate birth dates as there is no way of knowing the actual day they were born.
Age When Rescued: four months
Where Now: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery Nairobi Kenya Africa
Foster / Adopt this Sweet Elephant
Luggard is so special Elephant Spoken Here has included some photos and a video! with his profile in this 2 part post. Still this little bull elephant is Too Cute for any additional photos! See more at Luggard’s photo gallery & his featured photos
Location of Rescue: “Tsavo Ecosystem, Tsavo East NP”
Baby elephant’s Rescue Video: Luggard’s Rescue
Elephant Became Orphaned Because of: “human-wildlife conflict” / human-elephant conflict
Situation Surrounding Orphaned Elephant’s Discovery: Had he not been discovered by a DSWT pilot on a routine anti-poaching flyover of the vast area of the Tsavo East National Park our little Luggard most definitely would have perished (without the human intervention and medical treatment he was soon to receive). And though he was found near the Galana River, the tiny bull elephant was still in “an extremely inaccessible location”.
Even spotted from the sky the injuries of the calf were obvious. And with each step of his migrating elephant family their baby continued to fall far, far behind.
Insights into Orphan’s Elephant Herd: As the circumstances surrounding this baby elephant’s rescue was unique (he was still with his elephant herd when he was discovered) a crucial decision had to be made. Would it be more compassionate to rescue little Luggard & take him away from his elephant family thereby giving him the chance that he deserved, the chance to live?
To leave him, to not interfere with nature would’ve only prolonged the calf’s agony as the likelihood of an injured baby elephant’s herd abandoning him was extremely high (“the nature of his wound was such that in a wild situation, he would surely be left behind”). So, really, the decision (to rescue or not rescue) would not be a difficult one at all.
Condition of Orphaned Elephant When Rescued: Had his front legs been “shattered“ by the bullets (automatic weapons most likely, according to Angela Sheldrick) the effect on his mobility would have been much more devastating.
As it was, with two bullet wounds to contend with, “one in his right hind leg, shattering his femur, and another in his left hind foot” little Luggard would face challenges in his lifetime that no baby elephant should have to bear.
Lifesaving Measures Taken: Little Luggard was stabilized (an iv drip administered and a healing green clay poultice applied to his infected & swollen wounds) by the Sky Vet team and kept comfortable until time for his short flight (the now orphaned calf was strapped gently & covered with a colorful blanket to help keep him calm while on his first airplane ride) to his new home at the elephant orphanage in Nairobi.
Transported Via: As the little bull elephant was in such a remote area he required three forms of transport for his rescue. 1st a Sky Vet helicopter from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) was called in. 2nd Later, a Toyota land-cruiser would transport him from “the KWS rhino field base at Lugards” to the nearby airfield. 3rd A “Cessna Caravan aircraft” was readied for the quick flight to DSWT in Nairobi.
Upon Arrival at the DSWT Nursery: Immediately upon his arrival at the DSWT the injured baby elephant was placed next to an Xray machine while he lay, still strapped and covered with his blanky, on soft hay in a stable surrounded by other inquisitive little orphaned elephants such as himself.
Thankfully, “X-rays showed that no bullets remained in his leg or foot”.
What Makes This Sweet Elephant Unique: His will to live has never waned despite having such devastating & painful injuries to his back legs. Moreover, little Luggard “savoured his freedom from the outset, and did not let his broken leg hamper” his abilities to participate in his life among the other elephant orphans.
“He certainly has made the most of every gifted day and absolutely loves his human family, relishing all the attention he attracts, and reciprocating in turn.”
To be continued: LUGGARD : Elephant of the Week at the DSWT : Too Cute : Part 2