At just a year and a half old, litte Suni the elephant has been through more trauma than most animals (or people) have seen in a lifetime. In April of 2012 she was found dragging herself along, after somehow surviving an axe attack. No family to protect her and with wounds to her chin and a deep laceration to her back (affecting her spine and leaving her right hind leg paralyzed), it was a miracle she was alive!
Suni was taken to the Lilayi Elephant Nursery in Lusaka to recover. After sustaining an infection in the spine wound and having bone fragments removed, it’s hopeful healthy tissue is growing back and allowing for nerve repair and regeneration. With much attention and care, physiotherapy and wound management she has regained almost full use of the leg; however there is still serious nerve damage and lack of feeling which causes her to turn over on her ankle resulting in swelling and pressure sores. It is therefore imperative that Suni’s leg is braced and supported to prevent her from causing harm to the limb.
With the effort and dedication of many, help was flown in from the US and Norway to make a boot for Suni. This has been a successful endeavor and has helped her tremendously. She moves with ease and gives no indication of being in pain.
She shares a stable and yard with Zambezi, another elephant orphan; and she seems more relaxed as she has adjusted to her new environment. It is hopeful she will continue to recover.