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 03, 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)

12/23/2014 - Early before 6am, ex orphans Kora, Orok, Ololoo, Kenze and Lualeni were at the stockade compound. Kora and Orok kept themselves busy with a strength testing game as they waited for the orphans to come out. Ololoo got hold of Kenze for some strength testing training but after receiving a few pushing tactics he relaxed and waited for orphans to come out, waiting to put into practice what he had learned from Kenze. Ololoo then picked on Orwa for a pushing game which went on for some time until Lualeni interrupted by pushing Orwa. Orwa was not happy and even turned to tackle her but unfortunately Lualeni was big and strong so he lost the battle. Ololoo went to Mutara was and attempted to climb on her but she resisted and ran away so he moved on to Kanjoro, the boy with an altitude, and engaged in a pushing game. Kanjoro remained unmoved until Orok intervened by pushing the two of them out of the way. The five ex orphans left after an hour. Vuria and Bongo had a misunderstanding that they decided to settle by fighting but it ended into a draw and Vuria headed off to soil dust while Bongo resumed browsing.

At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by ex orphans Yatta, Kinna, Nasalot, Mulika, Wendi, Sunyei, Galana, Naserian, Rapsu, Challa, Sidai, Orok, Kora, Lualeni, Kenze, Loijuk, Zurura, Lenana, Makena, Chyulu, Meibai, Ololoo, Mwende and Yetu. The baby orphans didn't stay for long at the mud bath as they were scared of being bullied by the seniors whilst wallowing so they dissolved into the nearby bushes to fee. The ex-orphans had a wonderful time in water swimming and frolicking for over an hour. Ololoo was mounting on Lualeni, Orok and Rapsu had a pushing game and Kenze and Kora strength tested, all in the water. Mulika, Mwende, Nasalot and Loijuk left wallowing to soil bathe but soon returned back to the water. Loijuk left the wallow to charge at some swallows that were flying around. The ex orphans once they had finished their mudbath they dusted themselves and then headed off into the bush and disappeared leaving the juniors to remain with their keepers.

In the afternoon, Kainuk soil dusted and was joined by Vuria and Garzi. In the evening Shukuru did soil bathed as Turkwel stretched her trunk towards Teleki to warn him about something.

Today was a special day as we received a report from Voi that ex orphans Emily had given birth to a baby girl. Our own ex orphans Kinna, Wendi and Sunyei are about to have babies, with Kinna pretty close to giving birth we think.

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

 Zururu Makena and Zurura on the right of picture
photo taken on 5/1/2007
Makena and Zurura on the right of picture
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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