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The following is LOIJUK's Orphan Profile.
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Quick Facts about  LOIJUK

Gender  Female Date of Birth  Sunday, July 24, 2005
Location Found  West Gate Conservation Area
Age on Arrival  6-7 months
Comments on Place Found  The calf was found abandoned
Reason for being Orphaned  Drought Related

It always seems to happen on a Sunday, but never before have we had to cope with 2 orphaned elephant rescues on a quiet Sunday afternoon, which suddenly turned out to be anything but a quiet afternoon! Since the failure of the November/December rains over most of the country, exacerbated by hotter than usual conditions, most of Kenya has been gripped by devastating drought conditions, its normally green pasture (at this time of the year) reduced to a desiccated and baked landscape. The drier than usual conditions have taken a terrible toll of all life, and not least the elephants, particularly those who have to eke out an existence in a naturally arid environment which yielded the latest two orphaned elephants to be brought into our Nairobi Nursery.

Recently, we have been receiving orphaned rescue alerts on an almost daily basis – one in the Masai Mara made by a visitor on a mobile phone via our UK Office, where the orphan turned out to be probably 3 years old, and therefore stood a better chance being left in situ rather than undergoing the trauma of a rescue in a weakened condition; On the 15th January - that quiet afternoon mentioned above - two calls, and from opposite ends of the country – one from Tsavo West National Park where a baby elephant had been spotted, wandering all alone, in an emaciated and dehydrated condition, between Ziwani near the Tanzanian border, and Kitani in Tsavo West National Park and the other from Richard Moller Northern Kenya in Samburu tribal country, where an orphan had been spotted by tribesmen near a swamp called Loijuk.

The young calf in the back of the landcruiser  The young calf is lifted out of the landrover having had a three hour journey to the closest air strip

Loijuk with her rescuers  Loijuk next to the aeroplane tyre.  She is estimated 6-7 months old

With time not on our side, all the stops now had to be pulled out. The two rescue planes left Wilson Airport, each within minutes of one another, with Keepers, milk and rehydration salts and everything needed to rescue an elephant aboard.

She is called Loijuk, after the area where she was found in the West Gate Conservancy  Atanash struggles to get some rehydration fluid down the dehydrated calf before the flight

The Trust's Keepers feed the calf before loading her onto the plane  The young calf is then laid down on the matress and canvas stretcher before loading her into the plane

The first to arrive in the Nairobi Nursery was the 7 – 8 month male calf from Ziwani, already named by the Rescuers as “Nkiito”, the Masai word for the quartz pebbles and stones which are profuse in this mineral rich area, and so abundant that they line every road. Little Nkiito was far too weak to put up much of a struggle, resigned to his fate, and quiet on arrival (too much so for comfort). Obviously grieving deeply for his lost elephant family, and severely dehydrated, he seemed relieved and happy to find himself in more comfortable surroundings where he was offered milk and rehydration fluid. Very rapidly he went downhill and sadly died two days later.

About half an hour later a 6 – 7 month old female baby arrived from a new conservancy established on the North bank of the Ewaso Niro River called the West Gate Conservation area. She was found abandoned close to a place called Loijuk, the name of an extensive wetland swamp. The tribesmen of this area are changing from being simply pastoral herdsmen of cattle, to caretakers of the natural environment, and they were delighted to welcome Robert Carr-Hartley, who arrived in the Rescue Plane, since most of them know Robert as a friend from his Safari Company operating in the area. It was very encouraging for him to learn how proud they were of their wildlife, including the little orphan they had just rescued and brought to the airfield, whom they had already named “Loijuk” after the beautiful seasonal swamp, currently parched and dry. She was found too all alone, in a weakened state, and so obviously an orphan, her mother probably having succumbed to the drought conditions. She had been cared for tenderly by the conservation area’s rangers immediately after the rescue, and then later made the 3 hour journey in the back of a land rover to the Samburu South Airstrip, the closest strip that could accommodate a Cessna Caravan aircraft.

Loijuk's rescuers  Loading the young female calf into the waiting aeroplane

Once in the plane Felix watches over the calf closely

Once back at the Nursery, things did not look promising at all, however the positive was that despite being desperately weak and emaciated she did take her milk. The next day was touch and go as her temperature plummeted, and her trunk became damp with liquid coming from her lungs, both behind her ears, and her trunk icy cold. We brought the other orphans to her, and immediately they tenderly wrapped their trunks around her, all of them terribly concerned about the little newcomer. This seemed to be all she required and her eyes immediately brightened and she began the fight to live. This beautiful gentle little girl surmounted enormous odds and was counted among our great successes.

Sweet Loijuk  Loijuk's arrival at the DSWT is filmed by 60 minutes

The little calf is carried into a prepared stable  Loijuk in her stable with a keeper

Loijuk with little Ndololo

A very thin Loijuk in Nairobi

Loijuk continued to thrive in the Nairobi Nursery and was moved to the Ithumba Stockades in 2007 with her friend Kenze. She too is now part of Yatta's ex-orphan herd who now call the area around Ithumba Hill home; a home in the wild.

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The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust   P.O. Box 15555 Nairobi KenyaThe David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a non-profit in Kenya, a registered charity in England and Wales (1103836) and is supported by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust USA, a 501(c)(3) in the United States.

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