The following is information on the Elephant Orphan named: CHYULU  (foster now)

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 CHYULU  Female  Friday, May 05, 2006 Chyulu Hills  5 months  Stuck in the mud of a community waterhole, but orphaned 10 days previously from poaching  Poaching 

Latest Updates on CHYULU:

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Most Recent Keeper's Diary Entry: (view all the latest entries for CHYULU)

10/25/2014 - Zurura, Ololoo and Lualeni in the company of 13 wild elephants were at the stockade early before dawn. At six o'clock in the morning, the juniors were let out and were immediately joined by the three ex-orphans. As the other orphans were busy rushing for Lucerne, Bomani was busy doing his favorite exercise which is scratching. After some time, Shukuru, Garzi and Vuria stopped feeding on Lucerne and went to scratch on the rocks until Laragai led the way to the browsing field. Yatta’s group showed up at the stockade and joined Zurura, Ololoo and Lualeni. Chyulu had a friendly pushing game with Zurura and afterwards Zurura engaged Makena in a friendly strength testing exercise.

In the browsing field Bomani concentrated on feeding on the lush new grass while Kanjoro had a brief moment of soil dusting. Kainuk fed close to Orwa and at one time Kainuk put her trunk in Orwa's mouth trying to warn him of something we didn't understand.

At mudbath 20 wild bulls were waiting for water as the orphans checked in for their milk. After the milk, all the orphans headed for mudbath with Shukuru as usual walking with her trunk in her mouth. Laragai, Teleki, Narok, Sities and Bongo had a prolonged wallowing session. Soon after mudbath, Bomani enjoyed soil dusting and later lay down in the hot sun to relax. Vuria scratched on Sities but Sities was not happy about it and pushed Vuria away. Bongo, the water baby, was the last to leave the mudbath. A few meters from the mud wallow Narok was scratching against a tree but Teleki came and pushed her away to use the tree for scratching herself. Turkwel and her friend Kainuk were scratching side by side happy to share the same tree. Bongo joined the bulls briefly in drinking water.

In the afternoon, Mutara, Sities and Shukuru were feeding together. Shortly later, Shukuru started a soil bathing game and Sities and Mutara quickly joined in it. Mutara quit the exercise and went to feed near Turkwel. At around four o'clock in the evening, Bomani, Teleki, Orwa, Garzi and Bongo in the middle converged under a tree. Bongo instead of standing idle opted to keep himself busy by soil bathing. Sities walked over to where Turkwel was feeding and she put her trunk in Sities mouth as she tried to communicate with her. Later, Shukuru led the way back to the stockade.

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

 Chyulu taking her milk Chyulu on her first day with the Nursery Unit
Chyulu taking her milk
photo taken on 8/20/2006
Chyulu on her first day with the Nursery Unit
photo taken on 8/20/2006


During one of our Chyulu Desnaring Team’s routine patrols on the 18th of August in the Kibwezi forest, they came across a tiny elephant calf of about 5 months old stuck in a drying waterhole on the boundary with the community in an area called 'Kithasyo' and managed to extract the calf assisted by the community. We chose to name the calf “Chyulu” (Pronounced Chulu) since it is the first elephant rescued in the newly created Chyulu National Park created to try and preserve the indigenous forests that clothe the Chyulu Hills abutting Tsavo West National Park. The waterhole in question is often frequented by elephants, since it is the last to dry during the dry season making it a hot-spot for poaching, which is rife in the area. A female elephant was, in fact, found poached some l0 days ago, and it is believed that this could be the mother of the calf.

Views from the Chyulus  Chyulu Desnaring team who rescued Chyulu

The calf is rescued by DSWT Chyulu Desnaring team  The Calf is rescued by DSWT desnaring team and KWS rangers

Chyulu in the stable in Voi where she is kept overnight

Chyulu in the stable at Voi  Loading Chyulu for the air strip

The baby was captured easily, and although thin, was still quite strong. Since it was too late to organise an airlift to the Nairobi Nursery, the calf was driven to the Voi Stockades, where she was given rehydration salts and milk, and the usual prophylactic antibiotic injection, and held for the night. By the second milk feed, amazingly, she had calmed right down, realising that the humans that surrounded her now were not the hostile community members that had killed her mother, but friends that offered her milk. By the next morning she was suckling the hands of the Keepers and following them around as though she had been with them for weeks! The plane arrived at the National Park strip at noon, and the calf was roped and loaded for the journey lying on the rescue tarpaulin. She arrived at the Nursery in the evening, and was immediately welcomed with great excitement and joy by the Nursery females, namely Loijuk, Lualeni and Makena, whom we thought might be a little jealous of the tiny newcomer, but instead displayed all the motherly instincts for which female elephants are known.

5 Chyulu waiting at the airstip with the Keepers for the rescue plane

BBC were able to film Chyulu's rescue for Elephant Dairies  The plane arrives on the Voi Airstrip to collect Chyulu

Chyulu  Chyulu is prepared for loading into the rescue aircraft

Preparing Chyulu for the flight  Loading Chyulu into the aircraft

The very next morning, little Chyulu was out and about with all the others, and even enjoyed the mudbath, paying no attention to the hordes of visitors who come on a daily basis at that hour to see the Nursery babies. Although the Keepers tried to restrain her from going into the mudwallow, she insisted upon doing so, delighting all the onlookers, and amazing her Attendants.

Little Chyulu has been one of the smoothest rescues the Trust has achieved, and is basking in the undivided attention of Loijuk, who adores her, and also both Lualeni and Makena. Surprisingly Sian, who is assumed, will be the next in line for the Mini Matriarch-ship of the Nursery orphans, is happy to allow the other three to monopolize the new baby. We welcome little Chyulu, who is a very spirited baby, and also very astute.

Chyulu on arrival in Nairobi at the DSWT Nursery  Chyulu taking her milk

Chyulu on her first day with the Nursery Unit  Chyulu still gaunt from a couple of weeks without milk

Chyulu with the other orphans curiously trailing her  Kora inspects the new little calf

15 Chyulu embraced by the rest of the nursery unit  Chyulu staying close to her Keeper with all the other Nursery elephants trailing behind

19Chyulu with the Keepers and the protective trunk of Loijuk


Please see the resources above for more information on CHYULU

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