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)

5/31/2015 - It was drizzling and the weather was very chilly as Sidai, Lenana, Ololoo, Buchuma, Zurura and Loijuk waited at stockade compound after arriving very early to wait for the juniors to come out. Ololoo, Buchuma, Loijuk and Zurura were on their normal routine visit but Lenanas and Sidais mission was to spend the day with the new arrivals. The juniors had their morning milk and with the chilly weather relaxed in the stockade whilst Sidai and Lenana were getting impatient outside. As soon as the gates were opened they decided to go in the stockade to find out for themselves how the new babies had spent the night. Sidai and Lenana escorted Kithaka out as the rest of the juniors streamed behind them. Outside the stockade, Ololoo tried to mount Kithaka not knowing that Kithaka was heavily guarded. As soon as Ololoo was on top of Kithaka, Sidai and Lenana became cross and disciplined Ololoo harshly by knocking him away. After Ololoo was pushed away, he went to play with Orwa and then mounted on Vuria. Vuria made a lot of noise as he tried to disengage himself and so the keepers shouted at Ololoo which made Ololoo free vuria.
The juniors settled to the east of the stockade where Kithaka, Barsilinga and Lemoyian happily browsed close to Sidai but an hour later Sidai and her group bid farewell to the juniors and disappeared. It was still drizzling and Mutara rolled on the ground to play with the wet soil. Barsilinga, Kithaka, Lemoyian and Garzi joined Mutara in the game and enjoyed the wet mud. The three new babies all seemed settled and intermingled with the other juniors as if they had been in Ithumba all the time. Sities and Turkwel were showing the most interest in the new babies by joining them in feeding from time to time which made the new arrivals feel very important.
The weather was still chilly at mudbath time and accompanied by drizzles so the orphans only took milk, visited the water trough for formality and were led away by Mutara. Narok lagged behind as she scratched against a tree but the orphans settled to browse just a few meters down the road so she quickly caught up. Bongo was busy playing with the wet soil in front of the other orphans who were browsing since he loves mud and water. In the afternoon, the chilly weather cleared and Turkwel took Lemoyian aside and they browsed together for some time. Teleki joined Barsilinga and spent some time with him before Barsilinga moved to join Kithaka who was staying close to Narok. Kainuk browsed close to Shukuru while Teleki, Orwa and Turkwel had a wonderful time of dusting themselves with the wet soil. In the evening, Kithaka and Lemoyian took a break from feeding and had light pushing game as Bongo and Vuria finished up the days activities with a stronger pushing game which ended with Bongo riding on Vuria.

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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