Kevin’s (our 20-year-old brother…okay, son) is visiting from Michigan. We started off the morning with a yoga class, where he impressed the teacher so much with his flexibility that she suggested he go through a teacher training course and become an instructor. (He can wrap his feet behind his head.)
Then, we drove out to the wild animal orphanage. With the increased wealth of many Chinese, the demand for (illegal) ivory has expanded as well, with the result being that poaching is on the rise. The poachers kill elephants just for their tusks, and leave their bodies to rot. It doesn’t matter if they’re males or mothers with young elephants — their poaching is indiscriminate. Click here to read a recent article about the problem.
This animal orphanage has three baby elephants, ages 6 months, 1 year, and 1.5 years. All witnessed their mothers being killed and the poaches also hacked away at the youngest, leaving him for dead. They were found in the wild by rangers and brought to Lusaka, where they are/were being nursed back to health. They’ll stay at various sites around the orphanage until they’re about 10 years old, and then if all goes as planned (i.e., the rehabilitation efforts work), they’ll be released back into the wild.
The babies are fed milk formula every three hours. This little one sucked down two liters in less than a minute.
The orphanage also had a 6-week old bushbaby (a species from the loris family). Now, Kevin has always had a thing about lorises so this was a dream come true for him. The little critter was awfully cute.
Here’s a video of the sound the little thing makes (kind of like a crackling cricket).
Kevin ended the day in the dog house with Coco (who has a big crush on him).