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)

4/8/2015 - When the orphans left the stockade this morning to eat their lucerne, five wild bulls were at the stockade water trough busy drinking water. One of the wild bulls had two arrow wounds, one on the right fore leg and the other one below the face. After taking water, the injured elephant walked away with great pain as he dragged the fore leg. Shortly later his colleagues followed him.

Angela, Robert and Daphne were at Ithumba so we reported this immediately and quick veterinary intervention was arranged. The bull was treated for his injuries and we will be monitoring him closely should he return, but the DSWT aerial surveillance team with their aircraft will keep a close eye on him and hopefully he will make a full recovery.

The orphans had an easy morning without competition from anyone in feeding of lucerne. Mutara led her group to Kone area where they settled to browse. At eight o'clock in the morning, it was a big relief for us when Napasha, Buchuma and Tomboi were sighted. Napasha and Buchuma have been absent for almost three months. They headed to the stockades to great everyone and announce their arrival home after a very long walkabout.

The mud bath started early today when the ex orphans and two wild bulls showing up at the mud bath as early as at ten o'clock in the morning. Buchuma engaged Challa in a pushing game for quite a long time. Buchuma was showing Challa that during the three months he had been away he had training hard to be a dominant male in the future. Buchuma fought Challa even while standing in water until Challa finally surrendered, but after showing Buchuma that he can also defend himself.

At one time ex orphan Yatta pushed Napasha from behind. Napasha initially moved away but changed his mind and then turned to face whoever pushed him. When Yatta saw Napasha turn, she retreated and walked away because Napasha as our biggest boy at Ithumba cuts an impressive figure these days. He is a lovely a gentle elephant and means no harm. At eleven o'clock in the morning, the juniors reported at mud bath and soon after taking milk, Laragai headed straight to join two wild bulls and Sunyei who were taking water at the mud bath water trough. Ex orphans Zurura, Loijuk and Lualeni joined the other juniors in mud bathing. Three more wild bulls came for water at the mud bath water trough as the ex orphans withdrew and relaxed under the acacias happy to be in the company of their orphan friends and totally tolerant of the Keepers. Kanjoro and Orwa walked up to the water trough with their trunks up on air. When the two juniors came face to face with the wild bulls, they got rather intimidated and chose to leave. Bongo who always seems to feel comfortable in the company of the big bulls walked straight up to them and joined them taking water. He later joined his orphan friends

It was a very busy day with the veterinary treatment but we are hopeful we were able to provide the help. The wild elephants definitely know where to come for help and over the years we have repeatedly seen injured elephants coming to the stockades to seek help.

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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