A journey back into the wild – part two
Earlier this month, DSWF supported the relocation of two orphaned elephants in Zambia from the Lilayi Elephant Nursery to the Kafue Release Facility to begin the next phase of their journey back to the wild. For the full story, click here.
Both elephants, named Ludaka and Lufutuko, have now safely arrived at their new home and are being introduced to their new family. The two elephants had a relatively settled first night but were keen to get out of their stables to meet the other elephants in the release herd.
Watch the video of their integration back into the wild below.
Chamilandu, one of the older elephants in the release herd, was the first to investigate the newcomers and welcome them to the herd. Ludaka was initially on high alert as he hadn’t seen any larger elephants since losing his mother and family two years ago.
The rest of the release herd immediately reached out to the two new orphans using their amazing sense of smell to gather as much information as possible about the newcomers to their herd. As the Matriarch, Chamilandu was incredibly eager to meet the Ludaka and Lufutuko which is why they were initially introduced through a barrier keeping control and reducing stress.
As male elephants, the reception of Ludaka and Lufutuko was different from the introduction of new females. Males are generally seen as outsiders which need to be tested. Play is a way to test their strength and temperament so elephant etiquette and politeness need to be quickly demonstrated.
As new graduates, Ludaka and Lufutuko have lots of things to learn over the coming months. However, they will have their keepers and more experienced elephants around them for support as they learn how to live back in the wild where they belong.
Since 2007, DSWF has supported the rescue of 49 elephants like Ludaka and Lufutuko. Help us to continue this essential work by donating below. Our work protecting elephants ranges from engaging in the international policy arena to fighting for the toughest legal protection and funding ground-based conservation projects like this one to ensure elephants remain safe in their natural habitat.