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Orphaned Baby Elephant Forges Unlikely Friendship That Will Melt Your Heart

Sherry Rucherman

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Ellie was a baby elephant who was cast away by his herd. He was found by caretakers of the Vindum Blue Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage when they were doing their rounds to ward off poachers at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve.

The caretakers tried many times to get the little elephant reunited with his herd. But every attempt was unsuccessful. The herd simply wouldn’t have him.

Elephants are highly social

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Elephants are highly social. Being evicted from the herd is among the worst things that can happen to an elephant. But for Ellie being evicted meant certain death. He was far too young to survive by himself. It was hard decision for the people of the Vindum Blue Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage. They couldn’t just leave him to die, so they decided to take him in.

Choosing life

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When they took Ellie back to the orphanage they found that he was very sick.

 

He was left to die by his kin

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Ellie had an umbilical hernia. On top of that, it was abscessed. Basically the umbilical area was open and terribly infected. This area is in direct connection with the blood supply. The prognosis for these type of injuries is rather grim. Only about 1% recover from the infection and survive. The vets and the personnel of the orphanage nursed the baby elephant 24hrs a day for over 3 weeks. The effort paid off because the infection subsided and Ellie begun showing signs of improvement.

A side effect of treatment

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There were bad news unfortunately. It seemed the infection left a very undesirable side effect. Eddie, no longer tolerated milk. The vets sent for different formulations given to elephants in other institutions all over Africa. They received elephant milk from Zimbawe and Kenya. Ellie didn’t tolerate either. Ellie was still a baby elephant and without milk he would perish in a matter of days.

Coming up with a new baby elephant formula

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Impotence began to show its ugly face. Having tried the most popular formulations for elephant calves used across Africa without success, they ran out of choices. Someone in the team suggested they could try to make their own formula. With no other choice left, they put their minds and hearts into the new formulation.

The ingredients chosen were rice -very well cooked- protein powder, minerals, coconut oil and dessicated coconut. Unusual, but it would have to do.

They begun feeding Ellie this new “milk” little by little. It worked. In the beginning he didn’t take much but at least he took some. As time passed, he began taking more and more, until he was taking the required amount for his weight.

 

They fed his body but they were yet to feed his spirit

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Ellie’s physical health improved dramatically. He was gaining weight. You would say there was nothing to worry about anymore but you’d be wrong. He was physically doing great but there was no denying that being separated from his herd at such a young age had been devastating for the little elephant. Sadness overtook him and it was as if he didn’t want to live anymore. It was heatbreaking to witness.

Lifting up the spirits of an elephant

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There were no other elephants at Vindum Blue Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage. Their main objective was to rescue rhinos from poachers and in between they managed to help other animals as well. They had rhinos, hyenas and crocodiles among other species but nothing remotely similar to elephants. They tried to socialize Ellie with other animals but he didn’t show any interest. As a last resort they introduced Ellie to a German Shepherd named Duma.

Give me a reason to live…

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Duma had been a working dog most of his life. He was now retired from the South African Police Force and was spending his last remaining years in the rhino orphanage. His life contrasted a lot with Ellie’s who had been born rather recently and had only experienced the world briefly with his herd and now at the orphanage. They were both taken to a mound of dirt and left to their own devices. Duma begun digging holes on the mound with his front paws and Ellie played with the dirt using his trunk. Despite their obvious difference it was perhaps the love of dirt that brought them together but after that moment they would come to be inseparable friends.

The rookie and the veteran

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Duma was an experienced canine police officer and he knew from the beginning that Ellie despite his size was just a rookie. Duma took the role of the father Ellie didn’t have and it was curious to see them having fun because in all their games Duma always seemed to be looking out for Ellie. When they went on walks Ellie would walk impetuously and Duma would follow going back and forth. Sometimes he would grab sticks and hand them to Ellie who would take them with his trunk and play around with them.
Ellie’s improvement was radical. He seemed happy and fulfilled.

Patched up, so what now?

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The purpose of Ellie’s rescue had always been to reintroduce him to another herd. His injuries made it impossible at first but his radical improvement and his friendship with Duma made everyone happy. There was something heart-warming about an elephant and a German Shepherd playing games. Everyone at the orphanage was in high spirits.

Ellie collapses

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One morning Duma’s barking drew the attention of everyone at the orphanage. There was something odd about the way he was barking. When they found him, Ellie laid collapsed on the ground right next to him. He had been calling them to help his friend.

The stretcher was sent for and Ellie taken indoors. The vets took some blood samples fearing the worst. The results were devastating. Ellie had septicemia. The head veterinarian at the orphanage, Karen Trendler, took to social media in desperation. Her message read: “We need intravenous colloids for a collapsed elephant calf.”

It wasn’t many hours after Ellie’s collapse that he suffered massive organ failure. Ellie died shortly afterwards. A profound sadness overtook every single human being at the orphanage. She was laid to rest in a grave dug at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. Duma, the German Shepherd, tries to carry on with his life as best he can.

 

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NYPD Solves a High-Profile Turtlenapping

Mackenzie Freeman

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The New York City Police Department makes headlines every day, but it is not every day that the NYPD makes headlines for solving a turtle kidnapping case. But kudos go to the NYPD for solving the disappearance of a beloved resident of Alley Pond Environmental Center in Queens, 100-year-old African spurred tortoise, Millennium.

A Century of Millennium at Alley Pond

Millennium could have been a youthful, 11-year-old turtle when the 655-acre Alley Pond Park was acquired by the City of New York in 1929. When Millennium found his, her, or its way to the park, the Alley Pond was the source of water that the town of Flushing used for, well, flushing. Millennium survived the construction of the Long Island Expressway across the park, the creation of a golf course, and the founding of the Alley Pond Environmental Center at 228-06 Northern Boulevard in Queens in 1972.

Or maybe Millennium wasn’t around for any of those events. Although Millennium undoubtedly weighs about 100 pounds, and is larger than many of the children who come to visit him every day the park is open, the turtle rescuers who found the intrepid animal believe he could be a mere 17 years old or possibly as much as 100 years old. Either way, visitors to the park regularly ask to see him. And that is how they learned he was missing.

A Shocking Tortoise Disappearance

When visitors asked to see Millennium on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 18, 2017, Millennium was nowhere to be found. The attendants had no difficulty locating Millennium’s companion turtle Mini-Me, but even checks of video surveillance cameras showed no sign of the celebrity turtle. We think of tortoises as moving slowly, but actually they can move quickly, blending in with trees and grasses, so the park staff held out hope that Millennium might just be taking a little vacation looking for a different source of grass and grubs. But when there was no trace of Millennium the next day, they had no choice but to call the police. They were afraid they had a Code 597, abuse of an animal.

Millennium Returns from Connecticut

Fortunately, a Connecticut resident with a conscience made the reunion of Millennium with his young fans possible. And helped the police nab the turtlenappers’ accomplice Shawn Waters in the process.

Thirty-seven year old Shawn Waters loves turtles. He kept small turtles and other animals in the apartment he shared with his mother in Queens. On the afternoon of July 18, Waters was approached by two men who had cut a hole in the back of Millennium’s enclosure and absconded with the famous reptile. They made a deal with Waters to sell him the stolen turtle, and Waters started to take Millennium home in a stolen shopping cart. But no sooner did he have Millennium in his clutches than he realized his mother would never let him keep Millennium at home.

Waters hatched a plan to cover up his crime and get a smaller turtle his mother would approve. A man in Stamford, Connecticut had placed an ad on Craigslist to sell his musck turte. Waters struck a deal to swap reptiles and get $300 cash in the process. (Ordinarily, a turtle of Millennium’s 2 foot by 2-1/2 foot size and gentle watermelon-eating habits would have fetched about $2500, according to park officials.) Waters, who does not own a car, took a commuter train with Millennium to Connecticut, where he sealed the deal.

But by this time the police were checking turtle transactions on Craigslist. They located the buyer, who surrendered the turtle, which was returned safely to Alley Pond Park.

Waters was arrested and later sentenced to six months in jail at Rikers Island. His mother reports that he hopes to get his license to work as a security guard back when he gets out of jail.

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Strange Sounds Coming From the Walls Reveal a HAUNTING Surprise to New Homeowners!

Mackenzie Freeman

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No matter where you are in the country, every town has a story about that house. You know the one. The house that looms above all, lending urban legends and stories to people in the community. Well, today, we are going to introduce you to a home in Germantown, Tennessee, as well as the mysterious sounds that emanated from its walls. Let’s dig in because this story is going to make you want to check your own walls!

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Airline Passengers Attention Please: Avoid Wearing These Items While You Fly!

Leslie Tander

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With the state that the airline industry is currently in, flying comfortably can be a challenging quest to undertake. Despite how uncomfortable flying can be, air travel has become the beating heart that connects every nation on our planet. Knowing that air travel is so important, we felt that it was vital to understand what best to wear during our travels. Today, we are going to highlight everything that airline passengers should avoid wearing while flying!

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