As cruel as this looks, this is the only chance this poor elephant calf has for survival. Since the evening of June 7 this boy has run into trouble nearly every day. June 8 he got left behind at Nuxalbari Tea Estate.
We kept vigil all day, keeping crowds at bay, making sure he was hydrated. We waited for the herd to return, but in vain. In the evening we guided it to the forest close to the herd. But the forest guards who were keeping watch informed us that he spent the night alone.
His mother did not come for him. By afternoon the Forest Dept had guided him to the herd and they seemed to accept him. That evening passed and we all relaxed.
However, the next day, June 9-10 when the herd moved, the calf got left behind again. We felt he couldn’t hear and see too well and that’s probably why he was abandoned repeatedly by the herd.
On 18 May a lactating female elephant was found dead in Bagdogra range, about 12 km away. No external injury. Autopsy report is awaited. It’s likely this young calf is her orphan child, now abandoned by the herd because by slowing them down he compromises everyone’s safety.
Today he was rescued by the West Bengal Forest Dept. He will be treated for his injuries and then sent to the elephant rescue centre in Gorumara or Jaldapara. May he find safety and friendship with other elephants in captivity. May the herds stay safe, stay wild and prosper.