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

Gender  Female Date of Birth  June 2001
Location Found  Thomson's Falls
Age on Arrival  2 Months Old
Comments on Place Found  Thoma's herd were crop raiding, and when they were chased off the 'shambas' this little calf was left behind in the chaos.
Reason for being Orphaned  Problem Animal Control

On Saturday 11th August, 2001, news came of another tiny orphan from a Refugee population of Laikipia Elephants sheltering in a tiny remnant Forest near a place called Nyahururu, which, in Colonial times was known as "Thomson's Falls", hence the name Thoma. This calf was apparently in the process of being transported by road to Mweiga Airfield, a distance of some 80 miles. We were prepared for another difficult customer, since the Refugee elephants, completely surrounded by human settlement, lead a life of trauma and terror at the hands of humans. Every time they step beyond the sanctity of their forest shelter, they are in trouble, and consequently they tend to have adopted a nocturnal feeding pattern, emerging only under cover of darkness to find whatever they can beyond the forest.



  Thoma's rescue

Thoma with a protective Mulika  Thoma with Mulika

The Trust chartered the usual plane, kindly always given at cost by Mike Seton of East African Air Charters. Our rescue team arrived at Mweiga to find a tiny calf laying comatose and almost dead in a small Lion Cage, barely even breathing. We estimated her age to be approximately 2 months, which means she was born in June 2001. We doubted that she would even be able to make the journey back, but she did, reviving after managing to swallow a little rehydration salts. Closer inspection revealed multiple puncture wounds on her hindquarters, possibly from thrashing around in the cage, or from a barbed wire enclosure when she was confined at the Nyahururu Police Station. She was severely traumatised to the point of being nearly demented both from pain and fear.

Thoma nudging Solango (Thoma standing)

Julius feeding thoma

For an entire week little "Thoma" was inconsolable, restlessly pacing her stable, fearful of both the other elephants and the Keepers. For an entire week she never slept, and nor did the poor Keepers! But, she fed well from the start, and we were spared the usual diarrhoea. Injectable antibiotic in conjunction with hot towels gently laid against her buttocks gradually cured the sepsis from the puncture wounds; massive doses of silver taken with her milk also worked its usual magic, homeopathic "Arnica" and "Camomile" helped calm her, and then finally, "Thoma" slept! Reversing the sleeping pattern of nocturnal refugee elephants is always difficult, something we had experienced with Nasalot too.

Mulika adored her, Sweet Sally and Mweya were curious to start but more interested in each other, and Nasalot was busy mothering Mweya, who was probably handful enough! Little "Thoma" settled down well and soon became happy and playful, and finally seemed totally at peace with her new environment.

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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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