When Poppy was just a young pup, her spine was devastatingly crushed, causing paralysis in her hind legs. Doctors either think as a running theory that she was either trampled on by another animal or kicked by a cruel human.

One day, the pup broke free from the confines of the abuse and neglect she was suffering and dragged herself for miles making it to a research camp, where she made it known that she needed help.

Amanda Stronza, an elephant researcher working in Okavango region of Botswana, was shocked when she and her fellow co-workers stumbled upon Poppy limping onto their camp.

Photo Credit: Amanda Stronza

Stronza said,

“She came crawling — literally crawling, because her back legs were completely immobilized — into our research camp. She was unable to walk, but full of love and seeking help.”

Stronza and the other researchers on the camp did the best they could to care for Poppy until they could get her the help that she needed. The nearest vet was an 8-hour drive away, and so when they had the time, they took her on that long journey, so she could get the medical help that she needed.

Photo Credit: Amanda Stronza

Stronza continues,

“Our camp is in a remote region, filled with elephants, but also lions, hyenas, and other predators. Poppy had somehow made it to us, emaciated and soaking wet from the rain.”

Photo Credit: Amanda Stronza

Finally, Poppy made it to a veterinary clinic where doctors there determined that only surgery could fix her broken spine. Stronza, along with the other researchers at the camp, set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for her surgery. As the days went on, Poppy grew stronger and stronger each day and responded well to the surgical correction to her medical ailment. Things were suddenly looking up for the determined pup who willed her way to live.

Photo Credit: Amanda Stronza

“He said the chances were ‘slim’ she could make it through the surgery or recovery afterward. But she had so much life in her, and I knew we needed to honor her will to live and the hard fight she had already fought to find us and stay alive. I couldn’t agree to euthanize her.”

Photo Credit: Amanda Stronza

After lots of food, water, and anti-inflammatories, Poppy made a stunning recovery, shocking all the doctors involved in her case. They weren’t sure that the young 7-month old pup had the stamina to survive her ordeal, and once again, she proved everybody wrong. Stronza still can’t believe that Poppy had the resilience to handle the adversity she said saying,

“Her eyes pulled us in immediately. They are huge, imploring, and sparkling with life. She bursts with the sweetest spirit, and we could see that clearly, despite the desperate condition she was in.”

Photo Credit: Amanda Stronza

Poppy is recovering at the clinic, and once she is well enough, Stronza and her fellow researchers will determine what the best course of action is for her. No matter what the outcome, Poppy can rest assure that at this time in her life, she will never again have to suffer, the way she did in a previous life.

Photo Credit: Amanda Stronza

Stronza concludes,

“She already has so many people all over the world who love her from a distance and are checking on her progress daily and are eager to see a happy outcome, namely adoption into a loving family. She will regain her ability to walk, or she will gain wheels to help her around. I think she has a bright future!”

To support Poppy’s recovery efforts, please visit her GoFundMe page to learn more.




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