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)

8/29/2015 - A team of eleven wild elephants led by Half Trunk were at the stockade compound early in the morning waiting for water. When the water was turned on the wild bulls hurriedly started drinking. Narok was the first one to leave the stockade and headed straight for lucerne. Her friends followed shortly later. Zurura, Chaimu and Kilaguni joined the juniors and shared the lucerne. Later Zurura, Chaimu and Kilaguni left whilst the juniors headed to Kone area to browse. Vuria took some time to scratch himself between his left tusk and trunk to remove the ticks that were bothering him. The rest of the group browsed quietly for the entire morning.

After taking their eleven oclock milk, the juniors headed to drink water where they were joined by three wild bulls. The juniors gave the bulls the necessary respect by leaving for wallowing instead. Only Suguta and Barsilinga remained at the water trough. Barsilinga was scratching against the acacia tree close to the water trough as he watched the wild bulls while Suguta tried to share water with bulls. Kainuk remained a spectator whilst the rest of her friends enjoyed wallowing in the mud. She just stood at the edge of the mud bath watching as she swung her trunk side to side. After wallowing, the juniors headed for soil bathing and later lined up for scratching against a nearby tree. Shukuru enjoyed herself as she scratched her belly on Mutara who was rolling in the red soil. Lemoyian was the first one to scratch against the tree but his scratching exercise was cut short by Bongo who came and pushed him away, so he just stood to the side waiting to see if he could get another chance. This was not possible though as after Bongo left, Bomani took over with Barsilinga also waiting. Bomani threatened Barsilinga not to come close to the tree so Barsilinga left. When Shukuru was done with soil bathing she too headed to the same tree where Bomani was scratching. Upon seeing Shukuru approach Bomani just left without waiting to be forced out. Mutara pushed Orwa away from the soil dusting place after he showed disrespect by attempting to mount her. Orwa moved a few metres away and waited for Mutara to leave, before returning to play with Narok. In the afternoon the orphans browsed along the banks of the seasonal river, a place with tall trees with good shades and better pastures. In the evening only two bulls, Zurura and Tomboi showed up at the stockade for water.

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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