In 1993, a 1-month-old elephant calf fell into a latrine ditch in Tsavo West National Park in Kenya. Separated from her herd, she had to be rescued and was raised by caretakers at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), a home for other orphaned elephants like her.
Since then, Emily has been reintroduced to the wild, and become the matriarch of a band of 22 independent orphans, all of whom have transitioned into the wild after their own near-death experiences. The former orphan has become something of a celebrity in the elephant world, starring in the BBC's "Elephant Diaries" and even surviving a poaching attack. Now, Emily's story has taken even a better turn: On Dec. 23, she gave birth to her second wild-born calf (her first was born in 2008 and is thriving in the herd).
Perhaps in an effort to pay homage to the people who saved her, Emily returned to an area near the stockades at DSWT where she was once cared for to deliver her calf. The staff was shocked to see the pregnant elephant rumbling in, accompanied by a herd of frenetic elephants, all expectantly awaiting the newborn's arrival.