Orphaned elephant loves his new sandpit and swimming pool

24 November 2016

Baby elephant Gold was found trapped in a well earlier this year and his future looked bleak, but now he is living the life he deserves.

A depleted herd of wild elephant still roam Vietnam’s Dak Lak province, but when baby Gold became trapped in a well, he was separated from his family.

He was discovered by villagerswho contacted the Elephant Conservation Centre (ECC) who in turn asked for Animals Asia’s help. Despite not knowing which wild population Gold came from, Animals Asia and the ECC tried to release little Gold back to where he belonged.

Sadly, the elephant herd didn’t take him, leaving no other option than to try and build Gold the home he deserved.

Gold loves his new sandpit

Over the last year, Animals Asia has worked with a number of international NGOs and governmental departments in Dak Lak, advising them how to build the facilities Gold needs – with his welfare as the highest priority.

There is a long way to go, but the ECC is gradually taking shape. This November, Gold received the best present he has ever known – his very own sandpit and paddling pool.

Gold 6

Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Officer Nguyen Tam Thanh said:

“This is the happiest we have ever seen Gold. His life has been tragic but finally we had the opportunity to give him a taste of the childhood he has been missing out on. To see him rolling in his sandpit and splashing in his paddling pool is a real joy. We’ll keep working every day to keep Gold happy and stimulated.”

Gold 7Gold 1

The ECC is supported by the Vietnam Elephant Initiativewith Animals Asia, Wild Welfare and Elephant Care International offering veterinary support and advice on welfare and management.

The other elephant at the fledgling facility is juvenile male Jun. Having been caught in a hunter’s snare, Jun’s trunk and front foot were hideously damaged leaving him permanently disabled. Thankfully, in 2015, an Animals Asia vet was able to treat the wounds.

Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen said:

“Vietnam’s wild elephant populations are critically endangered and as a result the government is starting to get serious about protecting these animals. Part of that process includes the ECC, which will be able to rescue injured or lost animals like Gold and Jun and hopefully in the future those from the tourist industry too.”

Jun 4