Here we are again on My Wild Path. I’m currently working on some small updates on my website; the biggest part is already done. I just need to make the last fine-tunes and hopefully everything will be online before Christmas or at the beginning of the new year. But now it’s time to talk about something else!

Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release has officially launched its new campaign “Saving Salma” and I invite everyone of you to support this project. The aim of this new campaign is to save Salma, a one year old baby Sumatran elephant living in the Leuser Ecosystem in North Sumatra. The Leuser Ecosystem is an extraordinary place; it is the last place on Earth where elephants, rhinos, orangutans and tigers co-exist in the wild. There are only 2.400 Sumatran elephants left on Earth and Salma is one of them. She definitely needs all our help! Before talking about the story of Salma, watch the official video of the “Saving Salma” campaign, which will definitely touch your heart.



Now, here’s the story of Salma and the reason why she needs our help. In June 2019, Salma was found alone at the bottom of an elephant trap by the Conservation Response Unit (CRU) of Forum Konservasi Leuser organization (FKL), a NGO that strives to protect the Leuser Ecosystem and its biodiversity, with her front left foot swollen and infected having been caught in a poachers snare. The members of CRU rescued Salma from the trap and removed the snare. Then, they took her back to their headquarters at Saberjadi where they began nursing her back to health. Their hope is that one day Salma will be able to return to her family. But for this she first needs to get stronger and fully recover.


Salma Sumatran elephant foot after being rescued from the trap
Photo credits: Forum Konservasi Leuser


Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release visited the CRU team and met Salma at Saberjadi in July 2019 to learn more about their work, the situation on the ground and to identify the best way to help. Having spent several days working alongside the team, the urgency of the financial situation of the CRU became apparent. The £600 monthly costs of Salma’s care has put an incredible strain on the operational budget of the CRU. They are already stretched to capacity as they struggle to operate on just £1.500 per month. Geraldine Morelli, Director of Wild & Free, decided to start this campaign to cover the costs of Salma’s care and to support the CRU allowing them to continue their essential work fighting for Sumatra’s last elephants.


Salma Sumatran elephant fed by Forum Konservasi Leuser organization
Photo credits: Geraldine Morelli, Founder and Director of Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release


Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release launched the ‘Saving Salma’ campaign on the 22nd November 2019 at a fundraising event  in London organised by Geraldine, and it started with a blast. Geraldine had a great suprise during the launch of the campaign. She was so happy and in tears when she found out that, thanks to a surprise fundraising, her campaign had already raised £ 2.027 before the event. But it’s still a long way to help Salma to go back to her family. We definitely need every single help and contribute.

FKL is doing an amazing job in saving not only Salma, but all the Sumatran elephants and their habitat. The Leuser Ecosystem is an area of forest located in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra in Indonesia. Covering more than 2,6 million hectares, it is one of the richest expanses of tropical rain forest in Southeast Asia. It has one of the world’s richest yet least-known forest systems; its vegetation is an important source of Earth’s oxygen.


Salma Sumatran elephant happy and smiling
Photo credits: Geraldine Morelli, Founder and Director of Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release


I’ve personally visited North Sumatra this summer and hiked in the amazing rainforest of Gunung Leuser National Park. It’s one of the most amazing and outstanding place I’ve ever been, with a lot of unique wildlife. It is home to the largest remaining populations of the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant, Sumatran rhino and the Sumatran orangutan. There are at least 130 species of mammals within the ecosystem and this means that one in 32 of the world’s mammals live there! Needles to say, seeing orangutans in the wild melt my heart. I invite everyone to join me and Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release and become one of Salma’s supporters so we can help to cover the annual costs for her care, rehabilitation and release. You can help Salma by making a donation, just click on the link here below:

Salma Sumatran elephant playing with water

Another great way to help is by shopping on Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release official store, where you can find a lot of amazing stuff.  Salma prints, t-shirts and hoodies are now available, together with a lot of other great merchandise; check them out here: Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release Shop.

I’ve already ordered mine! And another way to help is (and this costs nothing) spreading the word! Share this post, share the campaign, make your own post about this, just share in every way you can! The more we talk about his, the more people we reach, the more we can help Salma. And not only Salma, but all the Sumatran elephants and the Leuser Ecosystem.

If you want to know more about Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release and discover all the projects and the great work that it’s actually carrying on and has already done, you can check my Save The Wildlife page, which I’m actually working on to make it look better and with more information. Don’t forget to check and follow Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release Website, Facebook page, Instagram and Youtube channel.

Let’s help Salma all together! I and Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release thank you all for your kind support!

Mirko Chianucci Written by:

I'm a nature and wildlife photographer based in Italy. With a great desire to explore the world, I'm deeply in love with nature and wildlife. My goal is to raise awareness on natural environment and wildlife conservation to help preserving the amazing wonders of our planet.

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