When The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) received a call in October 2015 about a young elephant named Tamiyoi who had been trapped in a well, they immediately sent their dispatch team to fly to the location, which was over one hour away. Luckily when they arrived, they discovered that the little ellie had already been saved by the Kenya Wildlife Service, so all DWST had to take care of was making sure that she was comfortable, which was no issue at all — she got a snazzy tartan blanket to keep her warm and a bottle of milk to fill her tummy. But even though she was out of the well, the little orphan’s struggles were sadly not over yet.

At the time of her rescue, she was an estimated two-months-old — no older than an infant. There is no telling what happened to her mother, but given that over 100 elephants are poached for their ivory every day, we can guess that Tamiyoi’s mother met a sad fate.

Typically, DSWT allows supports to become “sponsors” of baby elephants by making contributions in their name, but because Tamiyoi’s condition was so poor, they feared that she would not survive. So, her keepers did their very best to keep her comfortable as she struggled with her health and they helped her through her teething process by letting her “chew” on their hands. But, through all of the challenges, young Tamiyoi kept her spirits up and tried to feed on berries and greens, so her keepers decided that they should pass by the berry bushes on their daily walks so the little elephant could try to do what elephants do — every little step was a victory.

One year after her rescue, Tamiyoi is finally out of the woods thanks to the constant love, compassion, and care of her keepers. DSWT describes her as “being diminutive in size at one-year-old, [but] this little elephant has the steely temperament of one who knows her own mind.”

To learn more about The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the work that they do, visit their official website.