Injured Calf Given a Second Chance

The swift response from rangers of the Way Kamas River Patrol Unit, coupled with the tender care of the Wildlife Ambulance team, has brought hope and healing to a Sumatran elephant calf. This precious little one, who suffered a terrible injury from a cruel illegal snare in the Way Kambas National Park, is now on the path to recovery.

In late February 2024, rangers from the Way Kambas River Patrol Unit, along with their counterparts from the Way Kambas, Tengal Yoso, and Bungur Elephant Response Units, embarked on a critical mission to save a young female elephant calf. The calf, barely a year old, was found ensnared in a cruel wire trap with a grievous injury to her left carpal joint.

The team worked tirelessly to free the calf,  carefully removing the snare and treating the wound with antiseptic irrigation before transferring her to the Tegal Yoso elephant camp on the outskirts of Way Kambas National Park. Understanding the gravity of her injuries, urgent assistance was sought from the Sumatran Wildlife Ambulance, led by Dr. Christopher Stremme, Senior Veterinarian for the International Elephant Project.

L: The elephant calf had suffered a grievous injury to her left carpal joint due to the illegal snare.
R: A ranger with the wire snare that was removed from the foot of the elephant calf.  

Over three painstaking days, Dr. Stremme administered a comprehensive treatment plan to address the deep cuts that had penetrated the calf's skin, muscles, tendons, and joint capsule. Despite the seriousness of her injuries, the calf has shown remarkable resilience. Her wound is healing well, her appetite is strong, and she has formed close bonds with the staff at Tegal Yoso. Her carers have also started socialising her with the other ERU elephants but she is still a little bit afraid of them.

Dr Christopher Stremme and the team at the Wildlife Ambulance inspect the woundDr Christopher Stremme and the team at the Wildlife Ambulance inspect the wound

While it remains uncertain if she will be able to return to the wild, the Wildlife Ambulance team is in constant communication with the Elephant Response Unit about her condition and progress.

Illegal snares continue to threaten the precious wildlife in Way Kambas National Park, home to one of Sumatra's largest remaining elephant herds. The Way Kambas River Patrol Unit diligently patrols the 125,631-hectare area, working tirelessly to detect and prevent illegal activities such as poaching, logging, and encroachment. They collaborate closely with the Elephant Response Unit, focused on mitigating human-elephant conflict in the park's border areas.

The heartwarming rescue and ongoing care of this young elephant calf was made possible by the generous support of donors to the International Elephant Project, through which we are able to fund the critical work of the Way Kambas River Patrol Unit and the Sumatran Wildlife Ambulance. Your contributions are vital in providing the care and resources needed to give animals like this young elephant a second chance at life. Thank you for your unwavering support.

The young elephant calf is recovering well at the Tegal Yoso elephant camp

A special thank you to the Elephant Cooperation for the generous support of the Way Kambas River Patrol Unit and to the
United States Fisheries & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Durga Foundation for their generous support of the Sumatran Wildlife Ambulance.

Posted in...

Elephant News