Mbila & Shezongo

Mbila and Shezongo were brought to GRI together, a dramatic double rescue.

In late June 2020, a very large herd of elephants travelling between the Kafue Flats and the National Park became disoriented and entered a densely populated rural community. Elephants had not been seen in this area for over five years and many of the inhabitants had never encountered one before. In sheer panic and desperation, the community tried to chase the herd away. The elephants became scared and scattered, leaving behind two tiny calves 1km apart. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife immediately deployed a team with GRI, and the area was intensely searched for the herd until nightfall, using drones and vehicles, but to no avail.
Milk dependent and extremely vulnerable to predation, the frightened pair were carefully transported to the Release Facility, where they instantly began sucking on the Keepers hands for comfort. The next day they were flown to the Elephant Nursery to begin their rehabilitation amongst the youngest milk dependent orphans.
The young female, approximately 5 months old, was rescued by a pool of water and so named Mbila (um-bee-la), which means to “to swim underwater” in the local language of Ila. The young male was named Shezongo (shez-on-go), after the Honourable Chief who took life-saving action in calling for help upon learning that the calves had been separated from their herd. ‘Zongo’ was approximately 3 months old, and less developed than Mbila - he had not yet learned how to use his trunk. Both orphans had significant trauma to overcome in loosing their mothers and families and Zongo seemed most affected, initially refusing the milk he so desperately needed for his survival. Mbila had sustained a leg wound and with her immune system compromised, due to the stress of her loss and starting a new life, the infection rapidly spread. However with round-the-clock care by devoted Keepers and onsite veterinary support she made a quick recovery. The pair have been side by side since their rescue which has been a source of comfort as they begin a new life, and a second chance for eventual life back into the wild where they belong.

By adopting Shezongo & Mbila, you are supporting them in their journey back to the wild in the following ways.

Gold Package ($180)
Supporting the Elephant in their journey back to the wild, the wildlife rangers who care for them, the rangers to protect them against wildlife crime and the rangers who work with the communities to educate and engage them.

Silver Package ($120)
Supporting the elephant in their journey back to the wild, the wildlife rangers who care for them and the rangers who protect them against wildlife crime.

Junior Package ($150)
Supporting the elephant in their journey back to the wild and the wildlife rangers who care for them.

Digital Package ($65)
Supporting the elephant in their journey back to the wild.

Mbila & Shezongo