The love of a German Shepherd.

Towards a baby elephant!

The following beautiful example of the unconditional love of a dog was seen by my on the Care2 Petitions and Causes site.  It just had to be shared with you, dear reader, because it is such a powerful reminder of what love and caring for others delivers.  It was originally seen here and is republished within the terms of Care2.


Baby Elephant, Rejected By His Herd, Finds Hope Again With German Shepherd

3166406.largeBy: Judy M. January 31, 2016

In Zululand, South Africa, an unlikely pair has become best friends: a baby elephant and a German Shepherd.

Ellie the baby elephant was shunned and rejected by his herd, and he also had big health problems. For most young elephants, all of this would mean an early death. Luckily for him, he was discovered by the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa, and he made a new best friend: Duma, the German Shepherd puppy.

When Ellie arrived at the rhino orphanage he was critically ill with an umbilical hernia and had little chance of survival.

The game reserve usually rehabilitates baby rhinos, victims of South Africa’s poaching crisis, but is also home to other African wildlife like elephants, buffalo, leopards, giraffes, zebras, hyenas, and crocodiles.

 So why is Ellie here? He was brought to the orphanage after he was rejected by his herd, in spite of numerous attempts to reunite him with his family.

When Ellie the elephant first arrived, his rescuers didn’t think he would make it, but they nursed him day and night.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from Youtube video
Photo Credit: Screenshot from Youtube video

As Maren Trendler, a rehabilitation and crisis response expert at the orphanage, explains, “He also had a huge umbilical hernia and abscess. … In about 99 percent of these cases an umbilical abscess of that nature is fatal. … Against all odds, this little elephant is still with us.” 

Ellie had an intolerance to milk and nothing seemed to work. So the orphanage decided to make him a special milk formula, and he slowly started to stabilize.

Eventually Ellie’s physical health improved, but his mental health did not, because elephants are social animals and known to be hard to raise away from a herd. He was depressed and lethargic until Duma, the German shepherd hero, swooped in.

With the arrival of Duma, a former service and sniffer dog, things seemed to turn around for Ellie. The young elephant had been lethargic, not interested in anything, until the orphanage introduced the two at a sand pile. Immediately Ellie started being interested in life again. Duma and Ellie became friends, bonding in spite of their many differences.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from Youtube video
Photo Credit: Screenshot from Youtube video

For the past few weeks, their relationship has been growing so much that the carers have a “hard time keeping Duma away from the elephant,” Trendler explains.

Ellie’s future is still uncertain, since elephants generally need to be part of a herd to develop and grow. But right now, Ellie and Duma are happy together.

Published on Jan 14, 2016

Everyone loves a canine companion, and this baby elephant is no exception! The tiny pachyderm arrived at the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa after being rejected by his herd. Critically ill, the youngster had very little chance of survival. But thanks to round-the-clock care from sanctuary staff, and a bit of help from a special canine companion, the baby elephant is on the road to a full recovery.…


Time and time again, the world of dogs reminds us humans of what we need to learn, and to learn reasonably quickly, if we are to leave a sustainable, fair and equitable world for our grandchildren.

Talk about fiddling while Rome burns!


6 thoughts on “The love of a German Shepherd.

  1. Had tears in my eyes Paul. A couple of years ago, I bought two year-long orphan elephant sponsorships as Christmas presents for my daughter and son in law. They were from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a wonderful organisation, which has long been doing its best to counter the effects of poaching and human encroachment on wildlife areas in Africa.
    Your story here is a wonderful example, not only of the innate goodness of dogs, but of inter-species friendship, something which always moves me greatly.


  2. What a wonderful heart warming story.. and also gives an insight into the world of elephants, as they rejected a baby that they thought would not survive.. So very interesting..


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