Explore the incredible relationship between an orphaned elephant, Mak, and his full-time carer Marupia.
Culling is the practice of controlling animal populations by killing them. Due to a rapidly increasing human population and resultant loss of habitat in Zimbabwe, an estimated 50,000 elephants were culled between 1965 and 1988. It is believed that the most humane way of culling is to wipe out entire herds at a time from the oldest adult to the youngest calf.
This however was not always the case and instead of being killed, many baby elephants were rather captured and sold to zoos across the world. This particular elephant was destined to be sold to a zoo when he was rescued and brought to a wildlife conservancy.
Too young to fend for himself, Makhavusi was hand raised and bottle fed. During the process, Mak became increasingly dependent on human interaction and he therefore could not be released back into the wild. After such a traumatic start to life at the hands of people, Mak's temperament is unbelievable.
He has formed some incredible relationships with conservancy staff members and none are stronger than the bond he has with Marupia. He visibly enjoys interacting with Marupia and it’s clear that the feeling is mutual. Although
beautiful, this relationship should have never existed.
The consequences of conservation practices long gone are still being felt today and Mak is one of the lucky ones...