The elephant was a victim of human cruelty but it still remained gentle when help arrived.
It wasn't for a matter of hours or days. It was a matter of several weeks where this gentle giant had to walk around with a hole in his head after suspected poachers shot him in his head.
The elephant was discovered with the hole in his forehead in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools, which is a place that is often targetted by poachers, hurting and killing elephants for their prized ivory, as reported by BBC.
Nicknamed as Pretty Boy, the elephant was found by veterinarians working with the Aware Trust Zimbabwe. It is believed that Pretty Boy walked around for probably three to six weeks before he could get help. When the veterinarians arrived, Pretty Boy himself went after their vehicle and allowed them to examine him.
"It usually takes more time to find the animal than it does to treat it. Not so on 13 June - when 'Pretty Boy' heard they'd arrived in Mana Pools he made himself available for examination within half an hour, coming right up to their car," Aware Trust Zimbabwe wrote on Facebook after the incident took place in June 2016. "An extremely gentle and relaxed bull, the vets managed to get a good look at what immediately became apparent was a hole going into his forehead."
After he was darted, the elephant gradually lowered to the ground and laid down.
Dr. Lisa Marabini told BBC, "We think he was shot outside of the park and came into the park for refuge."
The elephant, who was 25 years old at the time, showed no signs of aggression and calmly received all the help he could get. "It's like he knew we were there with the intention of helping him," said Dr. Marabini.
If the shot aimed at his head had hit a few centimetres lower, Dr. Marabini pointed out that the bullet could have entered his brain. The experts explained that luckily, the shot was too high for the bullet to take away Pretty Boy's life. The veterinarians also noticed that Pretty Boy had an injury on his shoulder.
"He was lucky. The bullet must have glanced off the surface of his skull," Dr. Marabini told Sky News, as quoted by Inside Edition. After the first shot he must have turned to flee. The perpetrator fired another shot at his heart, because he had another abscess in his shoulder."
As they examined Pretty Boy, they found a grey substance that they had never seen before start to drip from the hole in his head. The wound was tended to and from his sinuses, bone fragments were removed and the foul-smelling necrotic bits were taken out. As the unconscious elephant started waking up after the treatment was administered, the veterinarians could see Pretty Boy slowly starting to flap his ears.
Then, "Pretty Boy dozed for a good half an hour with his head pressed against a tree after the op - obviously sporting quite a headache," Aware Trust Zimbabwe wrote on Facebook. "Our hearts nearly broke."
Despite having gone for several weeks with the bullet wound in his head, the elephant got the help he needed and was soon on the road to recovery.
Pretty Boy seemed a lot better the next day and was comfortable letting the veterinarians come in close proximity of him to do their final assessment.
"Pretty Boy the day after treatment looking much happier and eating well. We were relieved to find he was also very relaxed around us."