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)

6/29/2016 - Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau, Chaimu and Kilaguni in the company of six wild bulls arrived at the stockade compound early before dawn. Makireti and her group decided to lie down and take a nap whilst waiting for water and lucerne, and the wild elephants surrounded the water trough and waited patiently for the water to be turned on. At six o'clock in the morning, the orphans were let out soon after drinking their milk. Chaimu stood at the entrance and welcomed the juniors out by entwining her trunk with them; the first one was Narok. Shortly later, the juniors and Makiretiís group settled for lucerne. After feeding Narok played with Chaimu while Kasigau played with Kilaguni. Orwa engaged Makireti in a pushing game but soon lost and went to play with Bomani. Their game was short-lived as Kasigau walked over to them and pushed both of them away to engage Bomani in a pushing game. Bomani surrendered making Kasigau go and look for someone else to play with and lucky enough, Teleki was willing and they had a lengthy pushing game. As the orphans were preparing to leave for browsing, Yatta and mulikaís groups reported to the stockade compound. Kasigau, Kilabasi, Laragai and Narok surrounded Wiva all trying to say hello, which really made Wiva feel special. Wiva charged and moved in different directions with all these nannies in hot pursuit.

Two wild dogs showed up for water and there was a lot of drama when Zurura spotted them. Zurura charged and ran towards them. The wild dogs scattered making it difficult for Zurura to get them. Zurura rumbled and trumpeted to ask for reinforcement from his friends. Within no time there was an overwhelming response as Loijuk led the response team to chase the wild dogs away. The wild dogs accepted defeat and disappeared bringing the drama to an end. The orphans settled to browse at Kanziku area.

The day was a hot one and the orphans browsed under trees as they looked forward to attend their lovely mud bath when the temperatures are high. Bongo engaged Vuria in a pushing game that ended in a draw. Shortly before mud bath time, the juniors were joined by Olare and her group. Six wild bulls were also in attendance, one of them having received treatment from our mobile vet a month ago, and he was doing fine. Soon after mud bath Teleki engaged Kalama in a pushing game while Olsekki had a new style of soil dusting - he knelt down and started throwing dust on himself. In the afternoon, the temperatures were still high and the orphans browsed calmly while flapping their ears and in the evening Barsilinga spent some time soil dusting.

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‚Äôs life rather than kill it. Having hauled it out, they wrote the name ‚ÄėZURURA‚Äô on one ear, using a felt tip pen, ‚ÄúZurura‚ÄĚ being the Swahili word for ‚ÄėThe Wanderer‚Äô, 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 ‚ÄúNdololo‚ÄĚ. 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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