Shawu is doing great, but just like with any infant he requires special care and attention. There’s actually a lot that could go wrong with a baby elephant, especially considering that he’s not able to feed from his mother and get the nutrients found only in her milk. Although we give him milk formula, this can never replace his mother’s milk and this places him at a slight disadvantage.
Taking care of a baby elephant is demanding in so many ways. However, we are doing everything possibly to ensure that this baby gets all the love and nurturing he needs to grow into a healthy big bull that will do his name justice.
These are just some of the measures we have to take, to give Shawu the care he needs:
- Keeping the environment around the baby as calm as possible, with minimal human contact to avoid human imprint
- Only restricted staff to attend to him
- Daily (sometimes, twice a day) visits from the vet
- Taking blood glucose counts to measure his energy levels
- Caretakers from our sister property, Camp Jabulani, work shifts to ensure around the clock observation
- The keeping a diary that indicates any changes to dung or urine – which is then sent for laboratory analysis to ensure that all is well
- The caretakers take Shawu for daily walks and caress him when he needs it
- Our surrogate sheep mother, Lammie, also plays a significant role in keeping Shawu company
If you are able to help and would like to make a donation towards the upkeep of this baby elephant, visit our online portal and insert ‘Shawu’ in the comment field.