Moyo was saved from drowning at just a few days old after he was washed away while trying to cross a flooded river with his herd. He was then abandoned by the older elephants but, luckily, rangers found him just as a pack of hyenas had him surrounded.

He was taken to the Wild Is Life animal sanctuary in Zimbabwe, where he became very attached to founder Roxy.

So attached that he won’t let her out of his sight.

‘She is one of those animals with whom I have formed an extraordinary bond of friendship, trust and love. Letting go will be hard,’ Roxy told the team from BBC documentary Nature’s Miracle Orphans.

More about "Wild Is Life" Sanctuary: "We believe that the elephant nursery is about affording the individual orphans a second chance at life. These orphans, who have been severely traumatized, deserve the opportunity to grow and thrive in the natural world.

It is also about sharing the experience of these individuals with human kind. Of asking human beings to look beyond their own species ... to draw a parallel between themselves and something that is wild.


Responses to "Baby Elephant Can’t Stop Following Her Rescuer After Being Saved From Death"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why in the Hell would you allow a baby elephant in the house in the first place. Now that he is older and bigger, he will act like a spoiled child and wreck the whole place to get what he wants. Not real smart for a person with her experience. oh well, it takes all kinds, I guess.

  2. Unknown says:

    the stuff in the house are just material objects,the bond is more important in my opinion.

  3. Wonderful! Anonymous read this just to bitch. Evidently that's how they roll. Great story.

  4. This is a story I can support because the end goal is return the animal to wild. What I do not like is when people try to make wild animals pets. Wildlife serves an important function and role in keeping our planet, and our own species, healthy. Very sweet story.

  5. Unknown says:

    Not sure how making a pet of this elephant equates to rehabilitation. Can't help but worry for his future.

  6. I can see him becoming a fractious and uncontrolled teenager with no discipline....uh oh !! When out in the wild this will cause untold havoc . As wonderful as his rescuer is , I think he should be introduced into a herd ASAP. The matriarch will teach him manners .

  7. I somehow think this woman who OWNS and RUNS a wildlife sanctuary where the goal is to return animals (including other elephants) to the wild, knows more about how to raise a baby elephant in the best manner to be able to live wild again, than many of the people commenting on here and speaking as if they know better. Baby elephants are raised by humans often in these sanctuaries, and have this sort of bond with their handlers (each baby having only one human to bond with this way, as that is how it is done best), and many are successfully returned to the wild all the time! People should stop commenting negatively on subjects they know much less about than the people the article was written about! How many of you know anything about raising orphaned baby elephants at all in real life, compared to what this woman running a wildlife sanctuary in Zimbabwe knows?! I feel nothing but wonderful happy feelings when I see the bond this woman has with this baby. They are highly social animals and need this kind of love and affection when they are this little. She is doing nothing wrong! This is a lovely story!

  8. Babs says:

    Well said Kristina Grevatt. Baby elephants must have this bond for their well being. Without it, they will often waste away. A great example is the Daphne Sheldrake. Each baby elephant has its own keeper. They sleep together, do everything together for many months for the sake of the baby's health. When it's time to let go, all know it's time. Some of their adult elephants who have lived in the wild, formed or joined herds, and had their own wild babies come back now and then to say hi, but no property is ever damaged. Elephants are much more intelligent than those naysayers here realize. This woman is doing exactly what needs to be done for this elephant calf.

  9. Unknown says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  10. Val van Rooyen says:

    I agree, it WAS cute, but now he is too big and getting out of hand. He needs his own sleeping place outside. She could sleep there with him instead of letting him into her house. She should have actually have done that from the beginning then he would have known and respected the boundaries. Yes it is beautiful but he has to know he can't get away with everything because he is so cute. I hope she finds a way to let him go to where he will have his own handler and can interact with other orphans and be able to gradually go back to the wild where he belongs.

  11. Mota40 says:

    i would love to be at this shelter ,give all my love and time to these creatures made by god................

  12. Fred says:

    She isn't sleeping with him in the house FFS. That couch is on the back patio. He's also still very tiny and she's teaching him to follow directions. How many of you had toddlers who obeyed you perfectly?

  13. Babs says:

    Catharine Volpe, thank you for correcting my misspelling of Dame Daphne Sheldrick's last name. She is a remarkable woman with whom I've had the privilege of spending some time. I am terribly sorry for your accident and loss of your work with elephants in the sanctuary. Before criticizing the woman in this story, however, please remember your work was with sanctuary elephants who can be quite different from wild elephants, and we should never criticize rehabbers and their methods before walking exactly in their footsteps. I walked in this woman's shoes with a large predator species here in the states. That state's wildlife authorities killed every 'rescued' member of the species insisting they could not be rehabbed and reintroduced to the wild without becoming dangers to humans. I took two to rehab from an officer who thought killing all of them was wrong and brought them to me in secret. Despite my best efforts, it didn't take long for word to get out wherein I was criticized, threatened with all manner of legal actions, loss of employment, loss of my home, etc. but I persisted. The melee ended with my being allowed to keep the animals while everyone stood by waiting for me to be injured and fail...waiting with loaded guns so they could shoot the dangerous animals I was going to release. I did not fail nor was I injured nor did the animals become dangers to the public when released. Now, that state has a facility for rehabbing and releasing these animals back to the wild following the protocols I established. Again, this woman is doing what needs to be done for this elephant calf right now. I doubt she has a herd of calves to which she can introduce this baby and even if she did, the calf needs emotional bonding and since it has no elephant mother, this woman is the 'mom' for the time being. I have worked with both wild and domestic animals from many species for over 40 years, elephants, lions, bears, birds of prey, reptiles, hoof stock, etc. so I, too, feel I have the experience to speak. If separated from this woman now, this calf would seriously injure himself attempting to reach her and would also suffer great emotional distress. She is not making him a pet but rather filling in as his mother as she teaches him how to be an elephant; as you should know, elephant calves stay with their moms for several years as they learn to become elephants, find food, learn elephant manners, and so on. This calf is not going to be standing in her kitchen when he is 40 years old and fully mature. In the meantime, she is doing what needs to be done. If you look at the early trailblazers in wildlife rehab in Africa, many of whom I had the privilege of learning from, they all had calves/cubs they had to raise and then reintroduce. They started the same way as this woman and I do not recall even one instance where their reintroduction failed nor where the trailblazers ended up with very large dangerous/destructive pets they did not want.

  14. Unknown says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  15. Hugs to Moyo and Roxy!!! Abundant blessings always!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Very nice video, but the baby elephant needs to be re-introduced to the herd. He is getting too old to be running around the house. He is not a baby as he was when first rescued. He won't fit into the home in a year.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Kristina Krevatt, I feel exactly the same way you do! I's like I am thinking and you are writing. These people know what they are doing. And it is so natural to get attached to the animal you are looking after.

  18. Unknown says:

    It's an outside patio, the white wall n green window frame is the outside of the house, who ever commented that the elephant is inside the house is clearly an idiot, and should think before they post stuff, because they are clearly not winning at life....

  19. Anonymous says:

    Another precious Earth Angel. She, her staff & the animals in her care are all beautiful & they are all blessed from above. Covering you and all of yours in prayers of protection from the negative intentions bombarding you & all you have thus far successfully accomplished and will continue to accomplish. Thank you for your love & dedication to being a part of the solution to fill the earth our home with love vs from a world drowning in hate, murder, slaughter, trophy/canned hunts, may you all live long & with the animals you have rescued. Living in Peace always. Surrounding you in Divine healing & love. Shine Sister Glow. Hugs

  20. Anonymous says:

    They rescued the elephant from hyenas. The elephant group left the baby elephant to take care of himself. He was abandoned by those he trusted.
    Spoiled teenager....he is a wild animal. He needs nuture and care now....which he is being given. Life should be about Love. :) the world is full of hate, war and racism so why not let the baby elephant chillax on the couch. ;)

  21. Anonymous says:

    The baby elephant might need a friend, like a dog as I heard that elephants pair off with a friend

  22. celine says:

    The elephant can still be introduced to the wild as long as the keeper integrates him with other elephants. They are animals that bond easily so this makes total sense. It looks as though this lady has every intention of rehabilitating him properly. What an experience, my dream, if only for a day!

  23. silverfox says:

    Great story! Would love to hear about how Moyo is doing in about a year; she would have grown more by then.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I love how one woman calls herself an expert and corrects others but gets her feathers all ruffled when someone corrects her. She didn't even read the other person's post where she said she has worked with MANY species INCLUDING elephants. Stop showing off on the internet. It's a cute video and it's a snippet of the elephant's life. You have no idea what happens the other 364 days, 23 hours and and 57 minutes of its life so get a grip and enjoy the video.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I'd just like to point out to those people writing about baby elephants needing a bond with ONE person, that Dame Daphne Sheldrick specifically discourages that. Ever since, in the beginning of her life with elephants, a calf that she was raising pined away and died, while she was out of the country.The keepers are always rotated so that the calves have nurturing but do not form a strong bond for an individual.

  26. Chea says:

    This is wonderful! It looks like the couch is outside on a porch not in the house. Also these are only a few moment captured in pictures, how do we know what the actual plan is for this lost baby? I would hope a person that runs a animal sanctuary would know (along with other professionals) what to do. I am grateful to those in the world who dedicate themselves to giving back and helping to make a difference.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I am so grateful for what you are doing Roxy, making a beautiful creature feel safe and loved. We need more people like you and your organisation. Do what needs to be done. Good energy for your much needed work.

  28. Unknown says:

    Wonderful video! I've never seen one quite like this. And this woman is to be admired.Does this sanctuary accept donations? Thanks

  29. strings10 says:

    I feel the same way about tea. Good boy.

  30. Thank you, Becky Bauer for your clarifying comment. I agree with you even though I've had not wild species experience. But I understand what love accomplishes. thea clark ph.d.

  31. Unknown says:

    Baby elephants need lots of one-one-one attention, most elephant sanctuaries I've seen have human handlers that are with the babies 24/7. They have to have constant company for their health and mental stability so this is not unusual. Good for her, I hope this baby survives.

  32. deva says:

    Sooner or later the house is going to need to be barricaded against Moyo. Letting him have his way like this will end up with one destroyed house and an animal that hasn't learned his guidelines, which will make it harder to rehabilitate him into the wild. That is the aim, isn't it?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Haters gonna hate. Ah, the internet, where people can voice their hatred and spout their stupid opinions at will. So glad this lady saved this poor little guy. Not sure why the herd rejected him. They usually don't do that. But glad she's trying.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Why is that you cannot read a beautiful story like this one without reading ridiculous comments from internet trolls that assume they know better? These people are professionals doing a job many of us couldn't fathom in order to rescue majestic creatures. Someone is worried about a couch. My eyes cannot roll hard enough.

  35. Anonymous says:

    She should google studies on other adorable baby elephants (Aisha for one) that have literally died of a broken heart when that person they were allowed to become overly attached to had to leave town for a weekend or be separated from them for some reason. I totally understand the desire to be that close to a wild animal, but what she is doing has the potential to break BOTH their hearts. She should do some research and put some distance there.

  36. Unknown says:

    We are more alike than different from many animal creatures. We have in common arms, legs, lungs, brains, hearts, similar systems, and emotions. Yes they do have emotions and intellect. Sometimes humans treat them like things and are very cruel. I hope there is justice somewhere in the universe for people like that.

  37. Sylphyr says:

    I love how everyone is giving their expert opinion on how the elephant should or should not be treated. This lady has more experience than most of you. And instead of sitting behind a computer screen and passing judgement, she's actually out there, Doing something to help. If you think you know better, maybe you should dedicate your lives to conserving wild life, and give up your day jobs which enable you to pay your bills. It's easy to pass judgment. It takes a real hero to open up their heart to something other than the human race.

  38. Unknown says:

    How absolutely wonderful this is. I am sure you must feel so honored and blessed that this amazing baby creature can bestow all this love and trust upon you. My whole life I have wanted to work with orphaned animals (especially wild), and it is so wonderful to see someone doing exactly that.. How fortunate you are to have the opportunity to bond and form a relationships with these incredibly intuitive and intelligent mammals! Enjoy every moment and hopefully one day I can visit you. I salute you!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Pfft some of you can't even raise human children right.

  40. Anonymous says:

    That is a sturdy sofa

  41. Trey says:

    The amount of sheer retardation in this comment section is amazing.

  42. Unknown says:

    I agree with Kristina Grevatt It was a great story never judge a book by its cover.Unless you know what the situation is all about.

  43. Unknown says:

    I've beens following moyo's story for a while, I follow zimellies, it's been found now that moyo is actually a little girl! I love this little elephant, and what roxy does i think is amazing! X

  44. Morgana says:

    I t is so strange that the herd abandoned this baby Elephant, especially his mother, as we know and see so many paradigms of Mother Elephants to try hard to save their calves from any kind of danger. IT IS SO STRANGE. Many thanks to the rescuers

  45. Unknown says:

    She should not have allowed him in the house .it's also dangerous for him. What a rascal. Thank you to the rescuers xxxxx

  46. Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful woman to do this for animals. This little elephant is a lucky soul to have been found and saved, but I worry that when he's older and released into the wild he'll become a victim of the Zimbabwe's government plan to kill elephants and sell their bodies for pet food. These majestic, wonderful creatures have a hard enough time with the poachers that prowl looking for ivory, now the government itself becomes their enemy.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I am a personal friend of Roxy and know her project well. Some of the comments above are unjustified and I would like to set the record straight. Moyo is now five years old and is a happy well adjusted elephant, who has taken on the critical role of nurturing all the neonate elephant calves that come into the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery. Eight elephants are already in the re-wilding phase of the project and seven are still in the Nursery. Moyo will be moving shortly to the re-wilding project which consists of 34 000 hectares of pristine wild forest. There, wild elephants are already interacting with the orphans on a daily basis. Moyo has shown no ill effects from her early bonding period with Roxy and her handlers (of which there were 4). In fact, I would go so far as to say that Moyo's success was due to the unwavering love and care that she received as a very young orphan. Most neonate elephant calves die. Moyo did not. She has survived and is a symbol of the extraordinary sacrifices and hard work that went into ensuring her survival and that of all the other elephants in their care.

  48. fred says:

    Anonymous both likes and doesn't like Roxy. Anonymous should take his own advice and comment just once

  49. Figmo6673 says:

    Good comment, Kristina. I wasn't going to read EVERY comment. It is a special bond when an animal bonds with a human. I'm sure the baby elephant will be just fine. What I find both incredible and pathetic is how some people do not like animals. How can you NOT like animals? Often, animals are better people than people. Thank you, God, for giving us the wonderful world of animals!

  50. fred.... get a brain. You think that everyone who commented & signed as "Anonymous" is all the same person??? OMG!! You people actually walk among us!!!

  51. Debra Jordan says:

    Thank you Roxy for saving this little elephant, Your a hero and a blessing for all you do and thank you staff as well.. ♡♡♡

  52. Those of you lucky enough to know this woman please put me in touch! I am a 40 yr animal rights activist and found this story so moving and beautiful, I would like to send a donation to Roxy. What a beautiful human being, we need more like Roxy. Please put me in touch and in the meantime give her my love and gratitude for all she is doing to make a difference. This is what love looks like. Blessings, Ariaa

  53. Well said Kristina grevatt

  54. Thank you to ANONYMOUS who shared 5 year old Moyo's progress. I have kept up with her on the Zim is Life page and it has been so much fun! This person who knows Roxy is NOT the Anonymous who posted against her above. Roxy rocks!

  55. Unknown says:

    Que Hermosa Energia!!!!

  56. Bless the Rescuers, you are angels.

  57. Unknown says:

    Becky Bauer-Well said! I pray blessings on this woman, she is a life saver for this little one!

  58. Unknown says:

    Amazing Keep up the great work!

  59. Stephen R says:


  60. Unknown says:

    Experts on elephants say it's next to impossible to reintroduce an abandoned baby elephant to a herd. Thus this lady have done just the best to be her foster-mother and save her life. Just check it with experts. Ha ha. Period.

  61. TA says:

    Love this woman and her elephant...//___some of you!”anonymous “ are insane! It’s all about the animals and there different situations!!!! What is best for them in their unique situations!!!!! πŸ’πŸ˜πŸ¦…πŸ—πŸ¦‰πŸ’πŸ’πŸ˜ΌπŸΆ

  62. Anonymous says:

    I'd have to agree with a comment about this outfit scam that paints a great picture, scratch deep enough and there an angle with all sorts of dirt. So do research before throwing money

  63. Sher says:

    Isn't this dangerous for a baby elephant to be attached to 1 human? I saw a baby elephant at a sanctuary on a PBS documentary that lost its mother to poachers and was extremely depressed wouldn't eat and was taken to a sanctuary where it developed a bond just like this with 1 woman. She had to leave the baby elephant in someone else's care for a few months due to a family emergency. The baby went through depression and loss all over again as he identified the woman as his new mommy figure. He would not eat for other people and died. They brought out in the documentary elephants are very emotional and get attached and it is best for multiple people to care for the babies. The same thing could happen if he treats this human as a mommy elephant replacement.

  64. Raghav says:

    Excellent initiative and I will support her values and ethics. She is god for orphan animals. R u agree

  65. IMAGINE says:

    How many of you "experts" have raised an orphaned Elephant? Thank you to all the rescue groups for all that you do to save and rehabilitate our Wildlife

  66. Baby elephants bond to their caretakers just as bogies bond to their mothers. Leaving a traumatized infant unattended for hours can adversely affect their appetite, mental & emotional health. Infant elephants have died in as little as 4 days away from this human surrogate mothers. They stop eating and refuse to be active. Dying from a broken heart is too well known by those in elephant care and depression from loss of family is real. In these very young infants less than a yr. Old it is necessary the caretaker keep the infant by their side just as a human infant requires constant care so does an elephant baby. Elephants live to be 80 years old and the maturity rate of elephants is on the same level as that of a human infant etc. The caretaker in this video either has to take this baby into her home or move into a barn & sleep there. I accommodate my pets by not buying expensive furnishings as I know they will be damaged. So like this lady who sacrifices what appears to be used furniture that can be easily & cheaply replaced if damaged. After the baby grows less dependent they can be moved to barns and given a keeper/nanny to replace "mom" at night.

  67. Anonymous says:

    When I become older, I plan to rescue thousands of animals and make a really beautuful place for them. I will not cage any of them coz they need freedom. I hope many people will be caring to animals. They are really cute.

  68. Mary Lou Walsh says:

    God Bless her!! We need more like her with boundless love!! This baby will be fine, we all need love, this baby made it because of her!!! Unconditional love of an animal is God's special doing. We are truly Blessed.

  69. Estee Costa says:

    God Bless your every efforts. You're the kind of people that are AMAZING humans. You are doing great with that wee Moyo. You're so blessed to be able to be his mamma. You're a gift to this planet. To these beautiful creatures. I, along with all your supporters here, will pray the Universe gives you all you need to carry on your important work. You're the professional here and you know best. Anyone who has nothing uplifting to say or encouraging to share, should just shuush. Bless you and I'm so jealous you get the sheer honor and pleasure of helping this little rascal of an elephant find his way. It's my biggest wish that someday I may have the honor of holding the trunk of a baby elephant and just love it. May the love in your heart be ever bigger than the kindness of your hands. I'll be watching you all as you walk these magnificent beauties back to their lives in the wild! Sending strength and appreciation for you every effort.

  70. Melissa says:

    Lol you can't even have a positive message put out there with out a bunch of judgmental bitching about anything people can possibly see to criticize. There is a saying that intelligence is taking a hard problem and making it simple. And the opposite is true also, un-intelligence is finding a non issue and complicating the hell out of it. Thank you for doing your best at that you love and saving that precious baby!

  71. Anonymous says:

    Plant more fruit trees, should be able to find a way

  72. Anonymous says:

    She's got the right kind of flooring for the work she's doing.

  73. Joel Halfhill says:

    Absolutely awesome. I love elephants and especially the babies. They are an intelligent animal and I believe the rescuer will do as she says and return the baby to the correct environment when the time is right.

  74. Unknown says:

    To each his own.... don't judge people I admire this woman for taking the initiative to help! Think she made a friend here and I am jealous for her life!

  75. Unknown says:

    I'm not trying to hide.... I am not Anonymous....

  76. rbn says:

    So very glad to read this lovely story and am absolutely amazed at the number of elephant experts that have commented here. Love & Light.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Roxy is doing a wonderfull job!If we all could do the same it would help to equalize to the horrible things we are doing to our nature.

  78. Can't the baby be returned to it's mother? Won't she grieve for her baby?

  79. I completely agree with Kristina Grevatt. This woman knows what she's doing. And don't forget, the baby was abandoned by his herd! That has to be utterly traumatic for a baby of such a social species. She's rebuilding his trust and confidence so that he will be able to return to a herd. Let's leave it to the experts and just enjoy watching.

  80. Unknown says:

    Pretty soon she wont let him in the house and the cute thing will get upset-woman mauled to death by elephant will the headline say?

  81. Unknown says:

    All I can say is thank god that there is somewhere this little elephant had to go so it knows love after being orphaned. The world is a dangerous place and for a baby that has so much feelings and depth of lose when losing its mother. I'm glad the little one is cared for. Now for all that has condemned this little ones happiness. All I can say thank god you weren't left alone with nothing as a few months old baby! Go away and have a head wobble you absolute idiots! All the best for the sanctuary for the love and care you give

  82. Some people are just so negative. I think it is so amazing we have some willing to dedicate and risk their lives to save some of these wild animals. These pictures say so much more and is just to show animals have feelings to. I think that baby thinks your his mama u might have to keep it lol ❤️ Bless your soul

  83. Skibble says:

    none of most of ya'll read the article cause your facts are all wrong. it;s a girl elephant for starters

  84. I am reminded of the Rhodesian saying "one goat can undo in an afternoon what it has taken decades to establish".

  85. Reminds me ( and I truely hope she is aware) of Dame Sheldrick...( elephant sanctuary in Africa) who had the same issue, with an orphan elephant, following her around..but Sheldrick went away for a month and that baby elephant died of heart break. ..... There is also a heart broken mother elephant somewhere in the wild...They don’t just dump their young like that ! Hope they are doing their research at this place

  86. Rayel says:

    I just love elephants so much! They are some of the most emotional mammals with the strongest bonding instincts. Look how happy he is! These are the cutest and the sweetest pictures ever!

  87. I would say this is one happy baby Elephant. Right now he's with the person who has taken the place of his natural mama. Rescued babies can die from the stress they go through after being separated from their herd, so she must be doing something right as he seems to be thriving. I think she's pretty amazing and he's just adorable.

  88. Unknown says:

    Thank you for all that you do. It must be difficult at times but your kindness will be far reaching and benefit so many now and in the future.

  89. boxedb says:

    Apparently some have never had the gift of raising orphan animals. It is a blessing of sorts. Yes there are challenges some bigger than others but you just do the best you can with Gods creatures. Lots of good memories!

  90. Abandoned baby elephants are very fragile infants. They cannot be alone, if left they will die. They need to feel the love of their herd. Surrogate Mothers must be with them 24 x 7 until they are confident enough to be alone and that only happens when adopted by a herd. This takes time and when they bond they bond for life. In the house as a larger infant is troublesome. However the baby's life is saved and that is what is important. Other arrangements can be made but it takes a long time and they must be accepted by a herd. Not easy.

  91. Anonymous says:

    Elephants are also trainable. Even if infants. Bad idea to allow it indoors. Now it has an ingrained habit that the poor animal will have to overcome for the rest of its life! And a harder transition to being reintroduced to the wild. How cruel of the rescuer to do this. Sometimes you have to be truly "cruel" to be kind.

  92. Anonymous says:

    I think we need to talk about the elephant in the room.

  93. Kay W says:

    Fascinating story, I'm So envious of her time with this lucky creature. I love elephants and this wonderful woman who shares her home with wild animals. God bless you.

  94. Unknown says:

    I think is a pure expression of love. This elephant has very deep feelings for his rescuer. I think it is beautiful. To all the people that commented negatively, if this was a bull mastif dog you would not have a issue , would you? So why not an elephant? Joseph Petrovich

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