Naseku was a well victim, meaning the little elephant fell into a well in Kenya and became trapped for up to fourteen hours before being rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. At first, she refused milk, but within a few days, she was eager to drink and was able to successfully join the elephant herd.
India has also had a problem with baby elephants becoming trapped in wells. The Wildlife Trust of India has a division called Rapid Action Project which seeks to do work quickly on the ground to protect wildlife. In 2013, it began successfully covering abandoned wells as well as educating locals on the dangers open wells pose to wildlife. Likely dozens of lives have been saved thanks to this project.
You may wonder why elephants are getting so close to human civilization. According to the Wildlife Trust of India, “Habitat fragmentation and degradation compels the migratory and resident elephant herds to enter into crop fields in search of food and water.” With long periods of drought both in Africa and Asia in recent years, human-animal habitat conflicts will likely rise. The work of organizations like the Rapid Action Project will become ever more important.
Photo: Naseku, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust