When the Norman Carr Safaris team at Nsolo Camp in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park found this little warthog, she was alone, weak and disorientated. She had wandered into camp and was hanging around the Nsolo dining area. The team watched and waited for her mother to turn up. Unfortunately, after a few hours it was clear she had been orphaned.
As hard as it is, with animals in the wild we try not to get involved unless there has been human intervention, such as an animal caught in a snare or other extraordinary circumstances. In this case, the team couldn’t just leave her lying in the sun right in the middle of camp. So, with permission from the Zambian Department of National Parks & Wildlife, the team gave her some milk and moved her to the shade, ready to ‘medi-vac’ her out and into the waiting arms of Chipembele.
Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust, are a company that Norman Carr Safaris supports through a donation from every bednight. They do a great job of educating children in local Mfuwe village about wildlife and conservation, and rehabilitating orphaned animals, such as the now famous Douglas the hippo, who still gets fed at Chipembele after spending time in the Luangwa River with a local wild hippo pod.
We named the little girl, Nsolo, and kept in close contact with Chipembele founders Anna and Steve, to see how she was doing. The first weekend had us worried as she wasn’t interacting as she should and also not suckling freely. Anna and Steve were able to give her some ORS (oral rehydration salts) and milk but she was very quiet and not moving except to take the liquid.
A few days later we all breathed a sigh of relief as she became more lively, even jumping out of her crate and cuddling on the sofa with Steve and Anna as they watched TV at night. “Warthogs are very affectionate and babies need lots of contact,” explained Anna.
Joined by Winnie, another rescued warthog from the area, the two are now inseparable and follow Anna and Steve around like little puppies. They won’t settle to sleep unless Anna dangles her foot into their basket beside the bed.
They take them to the Luangwa River at sundowner time and they tear around like dogs when they get in their happy mood!
Anna concludes: “We have raised lots of warthogs in the past and successfully rehabilitated them to the wild, but the last one was a few years ago, so now we just get the children and grandchildren hanging around the house!”