Lost baby elephant Tom wanders into living room after being separated from her mother

Ten-day-old Tom had been walking for 18 hours when she appeared at a private game reserve

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The Independent Online

A lost baby elephant wandered into a living room after running away from its mother and travelling thirty miles to a private game reserve in South Africa.

Francoise Malby Anthony and her colleagues at the Thula Thula Private Game Reserve in Zululand were surprised to find the announced guest on Tuesday evening.

The ten-day-old female calf has been named Tom after the chef who initially found her in the garden “knocking” at her door.

Ms Francoise said she appeared “starving, dehydrated and very stressed” when she first walked in and staff quickly fed her while rangers went out to locate her mother.

On their Facebook page, she said: “We decided to put her (it's a girl) in a safe place in my house to stabilize her.

The story is even more remarkable considering the house is situated in in 4,500 hectares of land.

Tom resting on the sofa after being fed

“Alyson (our vet nurse), and David Bozas arrived to prepare the whole rescue strategy. After being fed by Alyson and Shereen, Baby Tom (named after our Chef) had a little nap.”

The game keepers then located the herd and Tom was reunited with her family at 1am. But even being safely delivered to her mother, staff at the reserve said she still decided to run after the van as it drove away.

Tom after she was reunited with her mother

The elephants were monitored all night to ensure Tom was safe. Ms Anthony said: “We shall never know how and why she ended up in our garden, but most important is that she survived her little "wandering adventure" in the African bush.”