Lots of mothers wake in the middle of the night to feed their babies, but not many get up to give a bottle to an infant elephant.
Jenny Webb adopted a baby boy elephant who was just a few weeks old in February. The orphaned elephant calf was named Moses. Rangers tried to find his family herd for two days without success. The calf’s mother was likely killed by elephant poachers.
The illegal killing of elephants is rife in Africa, with conservation groups saying that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed each year for their ivory tusks. Malawi’s national parks did not have the funds to raise the little elephant, so Webb took on the job of caring for the little pachyderm.
“Elephants are extremely sensitive,” said Webb. “We think of elephants as big, strong creatures but they are very emotional. Moses picks up on my feelings. If I am angry, he quickly gets upset.”
Like many toddlers, Moses likes to go outside and Webb takes him on daily walks with the family dogs. “The dogs are like his herd,” she said. ’’He socializes with them in the day and likes going for walks with them. He quickly established dominance with them.”
Raising Moses has been challenging, said Webb, “but it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have raised children, and this is very similar, but you cannot put an elephant in a pram.”