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Another Tragic Loss

(Picture above shared with permission from GRI. Left to right: Kafue, Tafika and Batoka, October 2015 during Kafue’s last few weeks at the Kafue Release Facility, before he headed off into the wild with Chodoba.)

GRI - Elephant Orphanage Project is very sad to report that Kafue, a seven-year-old released orphan elephant was recently killed by lions. He had released himself earlier than we would have expected and spent the past six months living completely independent of the EOP as a close companion to 11-year-old released orphan Chodoba who passed away in March (cause of death still pending final analyses). It seems that Chodoba may have provided an active role in keeping Kafue safe in the wilds of Kafue National Park. Although Kafue joined up with other release orphans, older and bigger than himself, after Chodoba’s death, he was still not offered adequate protection during this lion ambush and attack. All the EOP release orphans are currently being secured within the protective boma overnight and will continue to be given night-time protection until they are sufficient in size to defend themselves against lions. This has been an incredibly hard time for all the staff at EOP and whilst we learn such painful lessons we can only hope they will enable greater understanding to ensure long-term success for the remaining and future orphans.

We thank you for your support at this difficult time.

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