An alarming sight to be sure – Ben, an injured bull elephant, approached the lodge to ask for help.
IF YOU need further proof that elephants are highly-intelligent animals, this is it.
Ben, an injured bull elephant – thought to be 30-years-old – gave staffers at the Bumi Hills Safari Lodge in Kariba, Zimbabwe the surprise of their lives when he appeared to ask for help.
From the start it was clear to manager Nick Milne that something wasn’t right, as the animal had a significant limp and appeared to be wounded.
Unfortunately though, the in-house vet had left for the weekend so they were unable to tell the full extent of his injuries.
The lodge got the word out, and another vet kindly volunteered to fly 320km from the capital to help the elephant.
While medical assistance jetted out to him, Ben calmly passed the six-hour wait; he stayed no more than a few metres from the house, drunk his fill and grazed.
Ben stayed near at hand while help flew out to him. Picture: Bumi Hills Foundation.
When the vet arrived Ben was tranquillised and it was then a large wound in his shoulder was discovered, along with two bullet holes in his ear – injuries thought to be from a poacher’s bullet sustained in a separate incident.
The vet and workers were able to clean and disinfect Ben’s wound and administer a tracking collar to monitor his recovery.
While Ben’s road to recovery will be a long one it wouldn’t have been possible without his courageous, quick thinking.
Nick Milne told News24: “Logic would suggest that if an animal has an injury that considerably hampers its mobility, it would not attempt the climb and would rather stay on the level ground near water.”
The Bumi Hills Foundation is confident that Ben will make it, however his ongoing treatment will prove costly. The lodge has started a #HELPBEN campaign to raise the funds needed for his care.