Orphaned ostrich was left alone after brother moved. Then it met an abandoned baby elephant

December 6, 2017 4:52 pm Last Updated: December 7, 2017 12:07 pm

In October 2014, two ostrich chicks — later nicknamed Pea (the girl) and Pod (her brother) — were rescued from the wild and taken to an animal orphanage for recuperation. Having of just been brought in from the wild, it was natural for the ostriches to attack staff wearing brightly-colored overcoats. Therefore, after reaching maturity, it was just as predictable for the birds to venture back into its natural habitat. So after a period of time at the orphanage, Pod left and relocated to the wild and reunited with his family.

Two 'peas in a pod', the orphan ostriches settle in at our Nairobi Nursery in 2014.

Posted by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Thursday, October 6, 2016

To the surprise of the staff, however, Pea remained.

From her behavior, they garnered that she felt much safer in her surroundings at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) in Nairobi, Kenya. The trust mostly cares for elephants in recovery, but Pea became so acclimated they wondered if she thought she was one of them.

Pea grew fond of both the staff and other animals.


Spot the difference!Kiko, Pea and Pod make up the tallest trio at our Nairobi Nursery, often providing comfort to the…

Posted by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

During the same period, a 1-month-old baby elephant fell in a well in the wilderness and was abandoned by his family.

He was later rescued and bought, coincidentally, to the same animal asylum where Pea and other injured animals were undergoing treatment. The cute baby, then christened Jotto, had to adapt. When at the park, he grew comfortable and mingled quickly with other members of the farm. Hence, through the resuscitation period, Jotto the calf, roamed his new home and made new friends.

Even though the Trust caters for elephants, there were other animals there. And so when a young elephant came to this home without his family, Pea took it upon herself to be his mother.

It is safe to say orphaned ostrich Pea most definitely believes she is part of the elephant herd and little Jotto is…

Posted by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Saturday, October 1, 2016

It’s not every day that you notice an ostrich and elephant playing together. But this is just what Pea does.

Workers at the farm realized this wasn’t a one-off cute moment. Over time, the fondness between the two grew and they were always close. Pea was always around to keep Jotto company.

Whenever Jotto felt down and missed his family, Pea the feathery mum was there for him. Anytime the elephant got bored and needed a soft spot to relax on, Pea’s fluffy feathers provided the needed cushion.

Despite only having two legs and feathers, orphaned ostrich Pea is a beloved companion to several orphaned elephants in our care, especially Jotto. Here Pea is sharing some of her love.

Posted by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Saturday, November 19, 2016

In fact, the nurturing animal took it upon herself to look after any elephant that needed it.

After all, it takes a whole village to raise a baby. This saying aptly suits what they are doing for Jotto; with every animal and sanctuary employee dedicating quality time so that the calf grows into a happy and confident jumbo elephant.

Ostrich Pea enjoying a bath

Pea takes a dip!You may have seen an ostrich dust bathing, but have you ever seen one taking a bath? Ever since her rescue back in October 2014, orphan ostrich Pea has grown up in the company of elephants – and it shows! Here she is enjoying a full-on mud bath at the Nairobi Nursery, with her four-footed elephant friends close by. If you turn up the volume, you'll even hear Pea's best attempt at a 'trumpet' at the start of the video.Read more about ostriches Pea and Pod (now living wild) at: thedswt.org/peaandpod

Posted by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sadly, Pea passed away last year at the sanctuary. However, her memory lives on not just for the staff and elephants who loved her, but the thousands who watched Pea grow up via social media.

Remembering PeaIt is with a particularly heavy heart that we share this terribly sad news. On 25th November, two…

Posted by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Sunday, November 27, 2016

Though Pea was an unexpected rescue—the team had only been in the area to pick up an abandoned elephant when they spotted the orphaned ostriches—she has made a world of difference at her home with DSWT.

#TBT – The Rescue of Pea and PodWhen called to an orphan rescue, our teams have learnt to be prepared for the…

Posted by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Thursday, October 6, 2016

Posted by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Friday, April 14, 2017