When Bambi's mother was shot, my faith in human kind was shattered. At that point, well, somewhere within my raking sobs and stifled chokes because people were hushing me, I decided to dedicate my life to wildlife protection. I would ensure that the Bambis of the world NEVER had to suffer those wretched feelings of murder, abandonment, fear and deprivation again.
I never really worked out why I did Vet Science. DUH! I studied at Durban, South Africa, but was keen to move into the African countries that had game parks and plenty of need for a vet woman. None of them wanted women though. The poaching and civil wars made woman game park staff fair game.
I got my break though when a tiny Elephant calf survived her mother being shot and butchered in front of her. Why the poachers left her I don't know, but I am grateful to them because those poachers made my dreams come true. Baby Elleph was immediately sold to a Zoo in my home town. I was heading home, baby. Heading home to chaperon a 150 kilo baby.
My contract called for the safe delivery to Australia Zoo, straight into the arms of Steve and Terri Irwin. I could then have three days off to see family and return to Durban for regular duties. Not bloody likely, mate. Crikey!
Steve Irwin offered me the care position before I had to ask. There was no way I was leaving Elleph and I was prepared to become an unemployed Vet in the Elephant House of Australia Zoo for the rest of my life. I guess Steve and Terri weren't all Hollywood focused like the accusations going around said. They saw Elelph's connection to me and the acted in her best interest. They paid me to be Bambi's mummy.
Life has been kind to Elleph. I often wonder at the effect of the early trauma on her. I have seen no signs of malfunctioning Elephant but Elleph, I am sure, has seen signs of malfunctioning Vet Woman in me. Every time a musical rendition of Disney's Bambi carries into my annex, I cry. I sob. I break my heart for those abandoned and left for dead. Unlike all those years ago thought, when I was shushed and my sorrow canned, a wet sniffy trunk seeks out my hair and tussles it around, just like I did to Ellep the day her mother was shot.