Gratitude is a feeling that truly goes beyond humankind. And when it comes to wild animals, most people are petrified of them. However, little do they know that most wild animals feel the same emotions as us — be it feeling sad, playful and in this case gratefulness.
And that’s what exactly happened at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) in Kenya when Yatta, a wild elephant, was eagerly waiting to show off her newest baby to her former caretakers.
Yatta is a beautiful elephant. Her calf’s are beautiful also. Glad to see she’s leader of her herd.
— Pat LaPoint (@PMLaPoint) April 3, 2019
“She’s a proud momma,” caretakers at the animal center spoke about Yatta. “And in a show of absolute trust and affection, she brought her newest baby back to meet the people who saved her.”
Yatta is an 18-year-old elephant who lived with human caretakers from 1 month of age and was sent back to the wild in 2009. At the sanctuary, she would spend most of her time with the caretakers and other elephants before she started living with other adult ex-orphaned elephants in the wild.
An orphan of ivory poaching, Yatta was hand-raised by our Keepers & returned back to the wild in a protected area where she became a mom. Become a member of our foster family & help create more happy endings for #elephants like this! https://t.co/Su04NZJrW6 #DSWTSuccessStory pic.twitter.com/pIzgtSF6cW
— Sheldrick Wildlife (@SheldrickTrust) August 31, 2018
And in 2017, she showed up at the sanctuary with her newborn calf to introduce him to the people who took her in as an orphan in 1999. Rob Brandford, of DSWT, told The Dodo that although it was quite common for ex-orphans to return with their newborn calves, every time they decide to visit “is amazing”.
This is our favourite kind of family portrait: wild living orphan elephant Yatta with her two calves. Orphaned as a new born, today Yatta is a mother of two and the leader of her own ex-orphan herd. We couldn’t be prouder of this remarkable elephant! pic.twitter.com/6nIbAPmFxt
— Sheldrick Wildlife (@SheldrickTrust) April 3, 2019
“We have not only saved an orphan baby and raised her, but she has successfully returned to the wild and started her own family,” Brandford added. “For elephants, family is everything — so it’s no surprise that they choose to share their new family member with their former human carers, for they are part of their family.”
2. As you can see in the photo, a keeper is removing ticks from YoYo’s ear. Yatta is perfectly calm because she knows that the keepers who raised her by hand are only there to help. It’s why former orphans will often escort wild elephants to @DSWT to get medical help. pic.twitter.com/OO3uWA8zHA
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 4, 2019
The cute video shows the small calf, who is fondly named Yoyo, staying close to his mom. And that’s not all. The special moment also includes him flapping his ears and waving his trunk around in excitement. Along with Yoyo, the mother had also got her firstborn daughter, Yetu, for the visit. Watch the video here:
“Imagine our delight when she chose to share her second birth with us, returning to her former stockades and her human family, so that we could be a part of celebrating the arrival of her new baby — a healthy little boy,” caretakers added.
“We are delighted to witness the ex-orphan herds beginning to expand so naturally,” they said. “There could be no greater gift for us, or testament to the success of the Orphans Project, than to share the joy of such perfectly healthy baby elephants like our three ‘October kids.’”