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  • Ayan Mehra

ET: A Story of Resilience

I am very excited to share that this December, @ayansartforconservation has been able to adopt another member of the Thula Thula elephant herd - the very special elephant - ET.

ET was not part of the original 7 elephants rescued by Lawrence Anthony. Rather, she joined the herd later on. She was born into a separate elephant herd but tragically, every single member of her original herd was killed. Elephants are very social creatures and do not do well when separated from their families. ET was also very young when her herd was killed and still very reliant on them. So when they disappeared, she was distraught and kept looking for them; calling out for days and weeks on end, hoping to be reunited. Eventually, the strain of her constant calling caused her vocal chords to break, leaving her soundless except for a hoarse trumpeting sound.


When Thula Thula heard of ET's dire situation, the decision was immediately made to help ET by introducing her to the existing herd. This could be very risky, as mixing elephant families can sometimes not go well. However, when she was introduced to the Thula Thula herd, the matriarch, Nana, and the subsequent matriarch, Frankie, seemed to sense her trauma and took her under their wing. Slowly but surely, ET has grown to be an integral part of the Thula Thula herd. Now, she plays a strong supporting role to the matriarch of the herd. ET acts as the rearguard, being the first to flare her ears and trumpet, as a warning signal, whenever anyone approaches the herd.

ET flares her ears and trumpets, as a ranger's jeep approaches


I wanted to adopt ET because of her heartbreaking backstory. Hers is a story of resilience, so I want to do everything I could to preserve her legacy.

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