International Fund for Animal Welfare
(aka) International Fund for Animal Welfare Inc
290 Summer Street
Yarmouth Port, MA 2675
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves individual animals, populations and habitats all over the world. IFAW's major program areas are: Wildlife Crime, Elephants, Marine Conservation, Animal Rescue, Companion Animals and Education.
October 2019, we received an emergency call from a tourism operator in the Mana Pools National Park – an elephant calf was all alone, standing forlornly next to her dead mother. Immediately the rescue “machine” was put into action.
The IFAW team, arrived and immediately got to work. Racing against the clock, we spotted the calf, safely sedated her, and transported her back to our flight to the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery.
first week at the Nursery
On arrival, Moyo, our matriarch, immediately communicated with Amira with comfort that we cannot begin to comprehend as humans. Amira was severely traumatised by the entire event.
Elephant calves are deeply sensitive animals. They respond poorly to emotional and environmental stress. All of these factors have to be managed in a calm, empathetic way.
The calves attach quickly to the handlers, who stay with them, night and day. They need constant physical and emotional assurance, quiet words and gentle touching.
Moyo shows the calves that we are not to be feared and will often put herself between us and the calf whilst we manage any veterinary issues or feedings.
back to the wild
Amira has her eccentricities. To this day, she will only drink from a bucket.
She also refuses to walk straight into her stable. She goes in reverse!
Amira is deeply attached to Moyo and Unity. She rarely leaves their sides.
We are incredibly proud of this little calf, who has progressed into a beautiful young lady. Next year, she will head off to our release site in Panda Masuie forest, where she will begin the long and final journey towards a wild life. We are simply showing her the way home.