Kafue Release Facility
Born May 2017
For 4 days, a 2 and a half year old Ludaka wandered alone before GRI's Wildlife Rescue Team rushed in to rescue him
The community members in Rufunsa Game Management Area noticed a young elephant wandering alone. After a few days, they realised that his herd would not return, and they should call for help. Game Rangers International’s Wildlife Rescue Team rushed into action and the little calf was safely secured and loaded onto their trailer. During the long journey to Lilayi Elephant Nursery the team checked on him every couple of hours, supplying drinking water, fresh browse and splashes of cold water.
After 8 hours, they arrived at the Nursery and Ludaka rushed out of the trailer and into the boma. There, he spent a few hours calming down before being lured into the stable with some food.
Ludaka was extremely emaciated, having been without his mother for a lengthy period. During the days and weeks that followed great care was taken over his diet, with small steps taken to increase his nutritional intake while supporting his weakened state.
Ludaka grew comfortable to his surroundings at Lilayi found comfort in the Rangers, his surrogate parents. Just like the other orphans, he would rush to his bottle whenever the Rangers approached with the feed.
He grew to be a loveable elephant who bonded with Tuko. The two were often seen side-by-side in the bush. The friendship served them both well as they were relocated together to the Kafue Release Facility in June 2021, when they were both ready for the next step in their journey back to the wild.
Ludaka found his place in the herd at Kafue, forming bonds with several elephants. However, he stays close to Tuko and Lani who joined them shortly after. After enduring a little bullying in the early days, Ludaka has developed a sense of the elephants who he should avoid and those he can spar with. He is a healthy elephant whose future looks positive as he grows closer to becoming a wild elephant.
Ludaka is a really sociable elephant that gets along well with the rest of the herd. He has managed to maintain bonds with both the younger and older elephants and spars with the latter before submitting to them in defeat. He is still much younger than them and they are experienced in the art of sparring. He is, however, taking proactive steps to develop his skills. Ludaka recently left the Release Facility to join a wild herd, but decided to return in the company of Kavala, Musolole, Tuko and Olimba. He is looking very healthy and his body condition is excellent.