#1 – Gunshot to the face

On the thirteenth day of June in 2016 an elephant later named Pretty Boy was having the worst Monday of his life. That being so because he had been shot in the head roughly a month before. Poachers apparently had tried to take Pretty Boy down for his ivory tusks. The bullet bounced off of his sinuses fracturing them before finally lodging itself under the skin a few inches away. Pretty Boy had fought for his life and he had won. However, if he didn't find help he would most likely die of his wound.


Elephants are considered by many to be wise. “An elephant never forgets” is a saying we have all heard. Elephants are not only symbols of wisdom they are even deities in some religions. But, no one could have predicted a wild adult male bull elephant to wonder right up to a vehicle full of Veterinarians. Amazingly enough that is exactly what happened.

They were vets from AWARE Trust Zimbabwe who were in the area to help two other reported elephant injuries. As if he had an appointment and knew exactly what they were there to do he approached their vehicle within half an hour of them entering the area. Due to the fact they had come to treat elephants they already had everything they needed to help him.

This story becomes even more amazing when you realize he traveled to find them. He was not one of the regular elephants from the area. He had wondered for weeks traveling no one knows how many miles seeking help. On that glorious Monday Pretty Boy found help. Who knows how much longer this gentle giant would have lasted.

The wound was not only infected but draining directly into his sinuses. Necrotic bone fragments were lodged in his sinus cavity. Remember that elephants drink through their sinuses. Every drink of water must have been foul and painful. Ever bend of the trunk must have been like twisting a broken and swollen nose. I don't know if elephants pray or to who but, I wouldn't be surprised if Pretty Boy had prayed his big heart out.

After a surgery to remove the bullet and bone fragments his wound was thoroughly flushed and dressed. Sporting what must have been a massive headache when he roused he just leaned his trunk up on a tree for thirty minutes before wondering away. Pretty Boy was later seen enjoying a hearty meal and seemed genuinely happy.

The morel of the story for me is simple. No matter how terrible things are. No matter how dark it gets. No matter how much you hurt. If you keep going and you keep believing, you will find what you need. There are still some good people in the world. Don't give yourself over to cynical defeatism. Just keep going. You don't know what tomorrow will bring.

Learn more about AWARE Trust Zimbabwe - https://www.facebook.com/AWARETrustZimbabwe/