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Quick Facts about  NAPASHA

Gender  Male Date of Birth  November 2002
Location Found  Mpala Ranch Laikipia
Age on Arrival  9 Months old
Comments on Place Found  Found by Masaai herdsmen, thought to be a victim of poaching
Reason for being Orphaned  Poaching

On the 14th of July 2003 at around 13:30pm, we were alerted by Kerry Outram of Mpala Ranch that a Maasai herdsman had come across a young elephant estimated to be over 6 months of age.

The Maasai herdsman came across the elephant quite by accident because it was lying down, and at first he thought that it was dead. However, upon closer inspection he discovered that, in fact, the calf was still alive and appeared to be well.

Napasha rescue  Napasha rescue

Napasha arrives after a long trip by road from Mpala Ranch  Napasha is carefully unloaded from the vehicle

The herdsman then ran 2 kilometres to alert Joe, the Ranch Manager, about the presence of a lone calf, which is when his wife, Kerry, phoned us. Meanwhile, Joe and his team found the elephant still lying in the same place an hour later and they too thought that it must have died. However, when within 4 metres of the calf, it got up and moved deeper into the bush.

It took about 15 minutes for the Ranch team to finally capture the elephant, and an hour’s drive to get it back to base. Already it was far too late to either drive it to Nairobi, or organize a plane rescue, so Kerry was asked to keep the elephant for the night, with someone with it at all times so that it was not alone; to cover it with a blanket, and to offer it rehydration salts or water only – not milk. She confirmed that the facilities to do all this were in place, and that the Ranch Manager would be able to drive the elephant to Nairobi, which would save the Trust the expense of a plane charter, something for which we were extremely grateful.

Weak from the journey Napasha is walked into his stable  Napasha rescue

Once back at the Ranch base, the calf took some water and rehydration and was offered a selection of cut greens throughout the night by three Volunteers who opted to keep him company, offering him both re-hydration salts and greens. First thing in the morning, Joe embarked on the 7 hour gruelling drive down to Nairobi with the elephant and attendants in the back of his vehicle, arriving at the Nursery at midday, 24 hours after the herdsmen had found him.

As soon as he is in the stable he gulps down a bottle of milk

Upon arrival he hungrily downed a bottle of milk and promptly fell asleep in the stable next door to little Sunyei, which had been made ready for him. Discussion ensued over a name. The Ranch personnel had suggested Uaso Nyiro, but we already had both a Uaso and a Nyiro. They then suggest Lominyes (the name of the herdsman that found him) but we already had “Lominyak” whose name means “the Lucky One” so in the end he was named “Napasha”. That evening, the Vet came to administer the usual prophylactic antibiotic injection, (which the elephant, still in a state of exhaustion barely noticed).This will have to be a daily occurrence for the next 3 days at least to safeguard against diseases brought on by stress, both physical and psychological.

By 5:15pm the resident Nursery inmates were on their way back for the introductions. The Keepers gently tried to wake Napasha, but he would only open his eyes. However, when the other elephants arrived, he instantly came to life, and immediately walked outside to join them, greeted with excitement and joy by all! Tomboi seemed delighted to have another boy in the fold and tiny Sunyei was beside herself with joy and excitement. Olmalo and Wendi, at first, were a bit unsure about the arrival of a larger stranger and tended to be stand-offish, but by the next morning, and he was out with all the Nursery inmates, he was very much now part of the entire family!

Napasha takes particular interest in Olmalo  Within the hour Napasha is introduced to the other orphans

Although still obviously bewildered about the entire adventure, and obviously grieving for his real family, Napasha was very obviously relieved and happy to be loved again, albeit by some strange two legged animals and 5 miniatures of his own species!

And so, the story of “Napasha” began and he continued to do well in the Nairobi Nursery until he was moved to the Ithumba Unit in 2004. He remains in the wilds of Tsavo to this day, every now and then visiting the Ithumba stockades to greet his human family either with his long time friend Tomboi, or as part of Wendi's naturally ever-growing ex-orphan herd too.

US$ 50 per year is the minimum fostering fee

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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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