Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Matilda is a little elephant who lives at the Elephant Transit Home (ETH), in Udawalawe National Park in southern Sri Lanka. The ETH is a facility of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) in Sri lanka, which rescues orphan elephants and returns them to the wild when they are ready. Matilda was just over a year old when she was rescued in January 2007.

Elephants have a similar lifespan to humans so Matilda is still just a youngster. She drinks 40 pints of milk every day and is fed every three hours by the dedicated staff at the ETH.

Matilda’s story

Matilda now receives care by the ETH

Matilda was probably separated from her mother and family herd when villagers chased them off their land to protect their growing crops. This sort of ‘elephant conflict’ is a big problem in Sri Lanka and both people and elephants can suffer.

Exhausted and malnourished, Matilda was found roaming with a herd of domestic water buffalo who had become her surrogate family. She was too young to survive on her own without her mother’s milk, care and protection.

Luckily, villagers captured Matilda and local park rangers contacted the skilled and experienced team at the ETH. Without delay they drove to collect the little orphan in their special elephant ambulance, a unique Land Rover rescue vehicle donated by Born Free.

Matilda, named by ETH staff after Madilla, the town where she was rescued, was scared of humans and for many months was a little nervous, sometimes hiding in the middle of the herd of orphans. However, with the expert care provided by the ETH she has flourished.

We are pleased to say that today Matilda has been returned to the wild.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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