Naledi: One Little Elephant

About

Kiti, a gentle elephant in Botswana, was in her 661st day of pregnancy, a normal gestation period, when she finally gave birth to a baby girl. For nearly two weeks, the staff of Abu Camp, a halfway house for orphaned and former zoo and circus elephants, had been passing the time by coming up with a list of possible names for Kiti’s offspring. Perhaps because the calf was born at night, they called her Naledi, which means star in the local language.

Naledi was an instant hit with the Abu Camp caretakers including elephant manager Wellington (“Wellie”) Jana who compared her arrival to getting a new daughter in the family. Wildlife biologist and Botswana native Dr. Mike Chase, who is also tasked with looking after Naledi’s herd, hopes she will have the option to be reunited with her extended family. That’s the aim of Abu Camp caretakers, to release capable animals back into the wild. Mike and Wellie are pleased with how Naledi is being accepted into the herd and the care she’s receiving from her mother Kiti. But six weeks after giving birth, Kiti dies from a prolapse of the large intestine, and Naledi is left an orphan.

How the dedicated caretakers rallied to adopt the baby elephant, save her life, and reintroduce her to the herd that had forgotten her, is the focus of Naledi:  One Little Elephant, A Nature Special Presentation.

Although elephant families are close, the program shows how precarious it is for a newborn to survive once it has lost its mother. Naledi needs to be nursed, so when the herd’s matriarch can’t produce enough milk and doesn’t know how to care for her, Mike, Wellie, and the other caretakers decide to take drastic measures before it is too late. The film follows the team as they separate Naledi from the herd, relocate her to another part of Abu Camp, make sure a caretaker is always with her around the clock, work to establish a bond, and finally entice her to take milk from a bottle.

Crisis averted, the filmmakers are later on hand to document the cautious reintroduction of Naledi to her sisters and the rest of the family. She’s accepted by the herd, resumes her life in the bush, and the caretakers even celebrate her first birthday. But later, Naledi falls ill from eating palm fronds that have blocked her digestive track. The team agrees that surgery is the only solution, and the program chronicles her operation as the caretakers watch and hope for a positive outcome.

Another storyline in the film is the gathering of data for the 2016 Great Elephant Census run by Dr. Mike Chase during his time away from work at Abu Camp. Its aim was to count every elephant in Africa to help ensure their long-term survival given that Mike estimates we’re losing 96 elephants a day and between 25,000 and 30,000 annually. The results of the Census, published last year, revealed that 30 percent of Africa’s elephants have been lost since 2007.

Production Credits Print

NALEDI: ONE LITTLE ELEPHANT

DIRECTED BY
BEN BOWIE
GEOFF LUCK

PRODUCERS
EMRE IZAT
HILARY SPARROW

EDITORS
BEN HARDING
GEOFF LUCK

MUSIC BY
NICK URATA

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
CAROLE TOMKO
ELLEN WINDEMUTH

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
PAUL G. ALLEN
JODY ALLEN

CO-PRODUCER
KATE BRADBURY

FIELD PRODUCER
RICHARD SLATER-JONES

ADDITIONAL EDITING
KRIS KRAL

ASSISTANT PRODUCERS
SAM BARTON-HUMPHREYS
TOM BARTON-HUMPHREYS

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
DAVID WULZEN

HEAD OF PRODUCTION
KAREN MEEHAN

GENERAL COUNSEL
DAVE STEWART

ENGAGEMENT & IMPACT DIRECTOR
TED RICHANE

DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCER
MATT MILIOS

SOCIAL MEDIA RELATIONS
CHELSEY KILLEBREW

PRODUCTION MANAGERS
RENÉ NOUWENS
KIM NYHOUS

PRODUCTION FINANCE TEAM
MARCEL DERKSEN
MENNO FENNEMA

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
ŽIVILĖ MEŠKAUSKAITĖ

COORDINATING PRODUCER
JANNAT GARGI

EDIT ASSISTANT
PHILIPE PRUIJT

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS
SANDER VAN IERSEL
EDWARD MADDOCKS
RENATA TAVARES FURTADO

CAMERA TEAM
SAM BARTON-HUMPHREYS
TOM BARTON-HUMPHREYS
KATE BRADBURY
MARK DEEBLE
KRIS DENTON
TJEERD FONK
EMRE IZAT
LEE JACKSON
GEOFF LUCK
ANDREW KNIGHT MITCHELL
BOB POOLE
ERIK ROCHNER
RICHARD SLATER-JONES
NAVID TANSAZ

SOUND RECORDISTS
SEBASTIAN DUNN
OLIVER MACHIN
JABU MSOMI

CINEFLEX
SKIP MARGETTS
SIMON WERRY

COLORISTS
TONY OSBORNE
CHRISTIAN SHORT

ONLINE EDITOR
CHRIS GUNNINGHAM

POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
VICKY HAWES

RE-RECORDING MIXER
ANDREW WILSON - AMPS

SOUND EDITORS
KATE HOPKINS - AMPS
OWEN PETERS - AMPS
JONNY CREW

FOLEY MIXER
PHIL JENKINS

FOLEY ARTIST
BEN JONES

GRAPHICS
BDH

ARCHIVE
BBC MOTION GALLERY/GETTY IMAGES
MODERN LEGACY
RICHARD MOLLER/TSAVO TRUST
WILDAID
WILDLIFEDIRECT
CCTV AMERICA
KTN

“NALEDI”
WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY AKANYANG MOSABATA

“MOTHER OF AFRICA”
WRITTEN BY DAVID J. MATTHEWS, VUSI MAHLASELA AND AKANYANG MOSABATA
PERFORMED BY DAVE MATTHEWS AND VUSI MAHLASELA

SPECIAL THANKS

MIKE CHASE
KELLY LANDEN
WELLINGTON JANA
BRETT MITCHELL
JOSEPH ANKOTO
CHRISTOPHER BAETI
THATAYAONE BAPATI
MITATEU BRORR
LAZARUS KAMASENA
TSHOLOFELO KAMASENA
WITNESS KEEME
MICHAEL MOHULATSI
ONKOBETSE MOTLAMMA
SANE MPHO
BOAGO POLOKO
FRANK SHAMUKUNI
ONKEMETSE TSELE
MOGAKOLODI MORUTI
ABU CAMP STAFF
ANDREW BAKER
ZABLON BEYENE
BORN FREE FOUNDATION
CARON BOTES
JAMES BYRNE
DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST
ROELAND DOUST
ELEPHANTS WITHOUT BORDERS
ETHIOPIAN WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
HOWARD FREDRICK
KIBROM GEBREHIWOT
AARON GJELLSTAD
GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA
HARAMAYA UNIVERSITY, ETHIOPIA
JEAN HARTLEY
MIKE HOLDING
IUCN
ASHNA JACKSON
TANIA "TJ" JENKINS
JOHN CHASE SAFARIS
TENSAE KAHSAY
KABO KURT KAKANA
KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE
ANN KINGSTON
MARIO MAGONGA
JOHAN MARAIS
LESH MOITEELA
JULIUS MUKORA
ROBERT O’BRIEN
LIZ PARKIN
LARRY PATTERSON
ALEXIS PELTIER
GINA POOLE
ROB JACKSON VETERINARY SERVICES
ADELE ROSSOUW
CHRISTOPHER STEWART
VICKY STONE
CLAIRE STRACHAN
GERARD STRACHAN
ROBERT SUTCLIFFE
TSAVO TRUST
GAGOOPE TSUKOTSUKO
SHELLEY WATERLAND
WILDERNESS AIR
WILDERNESS SAFARIS

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SENIOR PRODUCER
LAURA METZGER LYNCH

COORDINATING PRODUCER
JAYNE JUN

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
JAMES BURKE

LEGAL COUNSEL
BLANCHE ROBERTSON

DIGITAL PRODUCER
ERIC R. OLSON

SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
WHITNEY MCGOWAN

SENIOR PUBLICIST
JOHANNA BAKER

BUDGET CONTROLLER
JAYNE LISI

ONLINE EDITOR
STACEY DOUGLASS MOVERLEY

RE-RECORDING MIXER
ED CAMPBELL

ORIGINAL FUNDING PROVIDED IN PART BY
THE ARNHOLD FAMILY IN MEMORY OF CLARISSE ARNHOLD
THE HALMI FAMILY IN MEMORY OF ROBERT HALMI, SR.
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III
KATE W. CASSIDY FOUNDATION
LILLIAN GOLDMAN CHARITABLE TRUST
FILOMEN M. D’AGOSTINO FOUNDATION
ROSALIND P. WALTER
SANDRA ATLAS BASS
THE ARLENE AND MILTON D. BERKMAN PHILANTHROPIC FUND
CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

A VULCAN PRODUCTIONS FILM IN ASSOCIATION WITH OFF THE FENCE

© 2017 VULCAN PRODUCTIONS, INC.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED