In a moving story of love and resilience, a three-month-old orphaned pygmy elephant named Joe finds a new family after tragically losing his mother to mysterious poisoning in the tropical rainforest of Malaysia.
The baby elephant’s distress was so visible that it moved wildlife officials to tears, and his struggle to survive has inspired a heartwarming bond between him and his new caretaker.
After the heartbreaking incident, Joe was taken to a nature reserve for around-the-clock care. Initially, experts feared he could die of a broken heart or from ingesting poison through his mother’s milk. However, Joe’s life took a hopeful turn when he was introduced to Augustin David, a 29-year-old nature reserve keeper.
In an incredible display of connection and trust between man and beast, Augustin became Joe’s surrogate parent, providing the love, attention, and care the young elephant desperately needed. Like any parent, Augustin faces a grueling schedule that requires feeding Joe every two hours with a special formula milk catered to his nutritional needs.
Joe’s new life at Lok Kawi Zoo near Kota Kinabalu includes playtime with Augustin, who runs the baby elephant around the compound—a activity Joe loves. While he isn’t fond of showers, he does enjoy receiving attention and affection from his surrogate parent.
Dr. Diana Ramirez, the veterinarian overseeing Joe’s recovery, explains that he is not out of the woods yet, as baby elephants are prone to colic, which can be fatal very quickly. However, Joe’s strong will to survive and the bond he shares with Augustin give hope that he will pull through.
Investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the poisonings that led to the deaths of 14 adult elephants in Malaysia. It has been suggested that palm oil plantation workers may have been responsible for the tragic incident, as the elephants could have consumed toxic substances laid out to protect the highly lucrative crop from pests.
Borneo pygmy elephants are an endangered species, with about two-thirds of their dwindling population found in Malaysia. If Joe survives, he is likely to remain at the 280-acre park for the rest of his life, as rescued elephants often struggle to adapt to life in the wild. Fortunately, he will have plenty of company, as the reserve’s 16 other injured and orphaned elephants are waiting to be introduced to their newest family member.
This heartwarming story of Joe’s survival and the love of his surrogate parent, Augustin, serves as a reminder of the importance of wildlife conservation and the protection of endangered species. By supporting ethical wildlife sanctuaries and raising awareness about the threats facing these majestic creatures, we can contribute to the preservation of their habitats and the heartwarming relationships that can form between humans and animals.
Watch to video: