For the past few months, Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa has been keeping a pretty big secret. How big? As big as an elephant. Literally.
Since late October, they’ve been caring day and night for a sick baby elephant they named Ellie.
They kept his identity hush-hush because of the severity of his health when he arrived and his caregivers weren’t quite sure if he was going to make it
Ellie (or Unbuntu, which is his formal name) was only 2-weeks-old when he arrived at the orphanage. He is still dependent on milk and when he arrived, it was discovered that he was suffering from large umbilical abscess, naval and joint problems and septicemia -- which is blood poisoning caused by bacteria or other toxins.
"You cannot even begin to imagine the intensity and challenge," Karen Trendler, a conservationist at Thula Thula, wrote on Facebook.
Their efforts have clearly paid off, because Ellie is now showing enough improvement that they finally feel comfortable letting the cat elephant out of the bag.
"He is still with us and finally stabilizing,” Trendler wrote. “It has been an intense and challenging time and an emotional roller coaster."
H/T The Dodo
Also on HuffPost: