In 2016, while crossing a Zimbabwean river, Moyo the baby elephant was on the verge of drowning. She had separated somehow from her own herd and was too small to swim alone. Roxy Danckwerts rescued her and rehabilitated her in Roxy’s own sanctuary, Wild is Life.
The sanctuary houses an elephant nursery. At just 56kg, Moyo was among the tiniest rescues at Wild is Life. Roxy took Moyo the baby elephant in while she was still a sickly and scared baby. Roxy knew she needed to gain Moyo’s trust if she were to revive completely. Not only caring throughout the day, but Roxy would also even sleep with the baby elephant, practically being with it for 24hours.
The Dodo featured Moyo and her story at 14 months. Moyo grew up to be extremely loving and would not leave Roxy alone after she had revived. Moyo even followed her inside her house out of her love for Roxy.
While swimming is easy for African elephants, Moyo’s childhood trauma caused her to develop a fear of the water and forget her life skill. Yet Roxy’s love and patience made Moyo even conquer this fear. Moyo has now turned into the matriarch of the herd of elephants who stay in Wild is Life.
The BBC featured Moyo as one of the Miracle Orphans. Roxy has expressed how difficult it would be for her to let Moyo go because of the deep bond they have developed.
Moyo had her presence felt when she met China’s President Xi. The meeting went on to create the banning of ivory trade in China in 2017.