4 min read

Tiny Elephant No One Thought Would Survive Happily Rests In His Little Bed

An orphanage for baby rhinos in South Africa has been harboring a tiny secret: A tiny elephant in their midst.

Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage recently announced on Facebook that they've been caring for Ellie for months, but he was so vulnerable they didn't want to share his story just yet.

But on Wednesday the people at the rhino orphanage decided to share their secret elephant rescue with the world.

"The cat's out of the bag, or is it among the pigeons....no! It's an elephant amongst the rhino!" the page shared caretaker Karen Trendler's words on Facebook.

Back in September, Trendler had announced the arrival of two rhino calves, Thando and Impy within a few days of one another. "I also mentioned that it had been a chaotically busy week," Trendler wrote, "and that this was probably the most understated post I had ever written ..."

What Trendler didn't mention was that a few days prior to the arrival of the two baby rhinos, a tiny 2-week-old critically ill elephant was admitted to the orphanage. They named him Unbuntu, but called him by a nickname: Ellie.

For the past four months, Trendler and another caretaker, Meg Richards, have been the only hope this elephant had in the world. "We have battled intensively around the clock to keep this very special baby alive against all odds," Trendler said.

The orphaned elephant, who is still dependent on milk, was discovered suffering from a large umbilical abscess, among other ills. "You cannot even begin to imagine the intensity and challenge," Trendler wrote.

But Ellie is finally getting better, according to Trendler. "He is still with us and finally stabilizing ... It has been an intense and challenging time and an emotional roller coaster."

Read about some of the other rescued babies at the orphanage here.

Donate here to help the orphans at Thula Thula.