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Quick Facts about  RAPA
 

Gender  Male Date of Birth  Thursday, January 15, 2015
Location Found  Kisima Hamsini - Sera Conservancy
Age on Arrival  5-6 months old
Comments on Place Found  Found fallen down a well in the Kisima Hamsini Area
Reason for being Orphaned  Well Victim


On the 1st of July Lewa relayed a report to DSWT from Sera Conservancy that Samburu Scouts had retrieved a young calf from one of the many wells in that area, Kisima Hamsini. The baby elephant had slipped in while the herd crowded around to drink water. Because of the presence of the pastoral people in the area the elephants do not linger long, and tend to drink here at night often while passing through to more fertile pastures.



By morning any evidence of elephants had vanished, only the screams of the desperate baby alerted the community. Due to sensitisation throughout the region these orphans are often reported and timely solutions sought for them. The community conservation scouts extracted the calf and he was kept safe until the DSWT could send a rescue plane to fly him to the Nursery. This is a hot and arid part of the country and extremely dry at this time of year, human wildlife conflict incidences increase as both man and the elephants struggle to share the same water resources.

Rescue team and orphan at the airstrip  The rescue plane

Peter greets the new orphan  Tasting the milk

Taking milk  The calf is offloaded

Restraining the calf  The calf being restrained

The flight to northern Kenya past Mount Kenya and beyond Samburu to Sera conservancy is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The airstrip is short and fairly crude which makes rescues from here challenging. The calf had been driven in the back of a land cruiser to wait at the airfield shaded from the unforgiving sun while the scouts awaited the plane and keepers. He was a big, robust calf full of fight, but with bruises from his ordeal and very infected eyes as a result of his struggle in the putrid water while trapped in the well. Thankfully because the calf was small only about five to six months old, the weight was well within the limitations for a Cessna Caravan for a short takeoff as the team departed with the calf safely strapped in the back and an IV drip in place to compensate for the time he had been without motherís milk.

Sera Wildlife Conservancy Ranger  Preparing to load the calf onto the plane

All of the rescuers  Strapping the calf in for the flight

On arrival in Nairobi he was loaded onto the waiting pickup with all the crew at Wilson Airport now extremely comfortable wrangling elephant orphans having dealt with many before. Even the Police who man the airportís entrance gate curiously seek the details of each and every case as the DSWT exit the airport perimeter for the short journey to the Nairobi National Park, and DSWT Nursery orphanage.

The calf is offloaded at Wilson  The pickup and calf arrive at the Nursery

The calf in the stockade  The calf is called Rapa

The exhausted calf resting  Some of the injuries the calf sustained in the well

In the shade  Enjoying greens

A very feisty baby was off loaded and placed in a stockade, too stressed for a stable, and while he looked like the perfect little grey fat-cheeked Dumbo he packed a punch. It took two intensive days in order to settle him down.

Rapa munching a twig  The day after rescue

Sucking Peter's finger  Enjoying some milk

We called him Rapa after a hill in the area from where he was rescued. In time he calmed sufficiently and was able to join the established orphans for their daily outing in the forest. He has assimilated well and the calming care of the others has turned him into a happy member of the nursery herd.

Out with the other orphans  Rapa joins the others in the bush

In the middle of the group  Rapa sucking his trunk

Rapa and Tusuja  Mbegu and Rapa

Rapa in a playful mood  Rapa, Suswa and Dupotto

Rapa


US$ 50 per year is the minimum fostering fee

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