The following is information on the Elephant Orphan named: ZURURA  (foster now)

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 ZURURA  Male  Saturday, September 3, 2005 Found on Mukuki Ranch between Tsavo West and East  approximately seven to eight weeks old  He was found by miners having fallen into an open face Ruby mine on Mukuki Ranch  Man Made Cause for Separation 

Latest Updates on ZURURA:

View to Location map for ZURURA (opens a new window)

Most Recent Keeper's Diary Entry: (view all the latest entries for ZURURA)

1/3/2018 - Laragai, who had let her group out the previous evening, reported early in the morning at the stockade compound. She was accompanied by Kithaka, Lemoyian, Garzi, Barsilinga, Sokotei, Enkikwe, Siangiki and Olsekki. The group welcomed their friends for yet another day out in the bush. Shortly later, Kibo, Chemi Chemi, Kalama, Murka, Kandecha, Kitirua and Naisula showed up and joined the orphans. Led by Laragai, the group headed towards the Kalovoto area where they settled to browse. Sapalan settled to browse with Namalok while Wanjala settled to browse with Kauro. Pare, one of the racing team members, settled to feed with Siangiki. At mud bath time, the orphans were briefly joined by Ex Orphans Galana, baby Gawa, Zurura, Madiba and Chyulu. The orphans preferred to have a mud bath in a small water hole a distance away from the main one. Namalok enjoyed splashing water behind his ears as Madiba stood on guard. Ukame loved playing with baby Gawa and if it were not for the intervention by keepers, she might even have left with Galana and Gawa since the game was so enjoyable, and she didnt think to walk back to her friends. Sapalan teamed up with Chyulu and Madiba and just as we thought that Sapalan would be snatched by the duo, to our surprise Madiba and Chyulu escorted Sapalan back to join his younger friends.

In the afternoon, Kauro took a break from feeding to participate in a soil dusting exercise and on the way back to the stockade, the orphans passed by the mud bath to cool off again in the hot weather.

The Two Latest Photos of ZURURA: (view gallery of pictures for ZURURA)

 Zururu Zurura staying close to Naserian
photo taken on 5/1/2007
Zurura staying close to Naserian
photo taken on 10/31/2005


Yet another call for help, this time to rescue a tiny calf that had fallen down a open faced mine dug for rubies on "Mukuki Ranch" between Tsavo West and East during the moonless night of the 28th October. This area forms a migratory corridor long used by elephants to move between the two Tsavos, but which is now densely populated by an expanding human population making passage extremely dangerous for elephants. Therefore they have taken to streaking through at speed under cover of darkness, in trouble should daylight find them betwixt and between their two safe havens. Disturbed earth all around the pit was evidence that the herd had struggled long and hard to retrieve the precious calf that had fallen in during this process, but eventually the Matriarch had to make the terrible decision to abandon the trapped tiny baby in order to ensure the safety of the rest of her family before daybreak. By morning, what seemed to be a ghost herd had vanished entirely. There was no sign of an elephant anywhere.

Zurura with the miners that rescued him  Zurura with the Keepers who came to rescue him

Zurura follows the Keepers  His rescue attracted enormous attention

As the Miners took their early morning tea, they heard the muffled bellows of the baby and set about searching the area following the sound, and peering into the many deep pits that dotted the ruby rich area. Eventually, they came across the traumatized baby elephant deep inside one that had already yielded some rubies, and taking this as an omen of having been led to this particular pit which might yield many more rubies, they were at pains to save the calf’s life rather than kill it. Having hauled it out, they wrote the name ‘ZURURA’ on one ear, using a felt tip pen, “Zurura” being the Swahili word for ‘The Wanderer’, and in deference to them for having saved his life, that is what he has been named.

Once back at the stockades he took some milk  Zurura at the Voi Stockades before the rescue aircraft arrived

While waiting for the rescue aircraft Zururu takes a dust bath

The calf was taken to Mwatate Police Station, who contacted The Kenya Wildlife Service authorities in Tsavo East. They in turn contacted The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and we immediately sent our mobile Veterinary Unit to investigate. The unit arrived to a calf swamped by people, all touching feeling and holding him. He was remarkably calm despite what must have been a very frightening time for him. In the absence of any wild elephants in the area, the tiny baby bull was driven to our Voi Elephant Stockades where it was fed milk and rehydration both of which he gulped down enthusiastically and spent time at the stockades having a sand bath while waiting for the Nairobi Keepers to arrive. He is remarkably tame for a calf that was only this morning a wild elephant, he followed the Keepers and offered little resistance.

Taking his milk once at the Nairobi nursery  Zurura with Edwin

A Rescue Plane was sent to the Voi airstrip with three Keepers from Nairobi on board, and the calf was flown up to the Nursery where he is now in the stable next door to little “Ndololo”. Both are of a similar age, we estimate him to be 7 to eight weeks; both baby bulls, and both have had a most traumatic beginning to life but who we hope will find solace in each other.

Zurura is introduced to the other orphans  Zurura staying close to Naserian

Makena and Zurura on the right of picture


Please see the resources above for more information on ZURURA

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