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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 MSINGA  Female  Monday, August 30, 2004 Masinga Hill, Voi, Tsavo East National Park  approximately 3 years old  Found abandoned close to Masinga Hill, fate of mother and herd unknown  Man Made Cause for Separation 

Latest Updates on MSINGA:

View to Location map for MSINGA (opens a new window)

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

11/29/2018 - It was another wonderful beginning to the day with the milk dependent orphan elephants assembling in a nearly perfect straight line for their delicious milk bottle. Rorogoi and Suswa tried to introduce a play fighting game to their fellow friends who showed no interest as they were intent on beginning the days browsing activities.

After feeding for three hours, Kenia's herd, who had explored the northern side of Msinga Hill, joined a wild cow and her two calves for a browsing session. Araba, Tahri and Aruba wanted to greet the younger calf but were prevented from getting too close by her teenage sister who was intent on keeping them away from the baby. Kenia rejoined Mbeguís herd as they made their way to the waterhole.

A thick cloud had covered the sun and the orphan elephants were reluctant to enter the mud bath. Once the cloud cleared the orphans changed their mind and eagerly made their way back for a swim. Kihari, Arruba and Embu enjoyed rolling around in the water while Ndii chose to avoid the wallow and climbed into the water trough for a bath instead. Naipoki interrupted Tundani from a soil bathing game and the two quickly became embroiled in a strength testing game. The afternoon was spent browsing close to the baobab tree waterhole.

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

 Msinga Msinga taking a soil bath close to the stockades
photo taken on 8/28/2007
Msinga taking a soil bath close to the stockades
photo taken on 8/28/2007


Early in the morning on the 17th August the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trusts Burra anti-poaching/desnaring team received information from the Kenyan Wildlife Service that a number of tour drivers had reported sightings of an abandoned elephant calf on the Voi river circuit in Tsavo East National Park. Our team along with Keepers from our Voi Unit immediately went to investigate and soon found the calf still alone, with no elephants in the area. The calf was older than expected, estimated 3 years old, but, in a place like Tsavo, incredibly vulnerable to predators. Her condition still looked good, and the fate of her family and mother until today remains a mystery. The team closely observed the calf for some hours and while waiting for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trusts Mobile Veterinary unit (funded by Vier Photen) to arrive on the scene she unexpectedly ambled close to the road. Spontaneously, despite the Veterinary team not being on site yet, the time seemed right for the Keepers to over power her in order to transport her back to the orphan stockades and the comfort of our older orphans and of course for her to have the benefit of supplementary feeding. Orphans two and under cannot live without their mothers milk, and calves orphaned three years old and under seldom survive unless the conditions are incredibly favorable. This young females chances of survival seemed slim with Tsavo presently in the height of the dry season, and at the mercy of the Tsavo lions without the protection of older elephants by her side. Julius bravely led the charge towards the calf but very quickly she overpowered him and had him pinned on the ground but fortunately, while bruised badly, he suffered no serious injuries, but the whole incident detracted from the rescue at hand and the calf fled into the dense undergrowth of the Voi River, and the Keepers scattered in all direction. Shortly there after the Mobile Veterinary unit arrived and continued to monitor the calf's movements while Julius was whisked off to a nearby hospital to be sure he had not suffered any further injuries aside from the obvious bruising.

As the day progressed she came into contact with a small wild group, consisting or three adult cows and their own calves, but while they were curious about the newcomer they did not seem interested in embracing her in their family unit and she remained peripheral, but close enough to the group to make another rescue attempt on that day impossible.

The wild group that Msinga tried to join on the 17th

Early on the 18th our team and Veterinary Unit continued to search the Voi river circuit for her whereabouts. They came across a number of elephant herds but the calf was nowhere to be seen. Our orphans and their Keepers in the meantime had climbed high up the slopes of Masinga hill to feed, and it was from that vantage point, at about 3.30pm in the afternoon, that our Keepers spotted the small calf three kilometers away on the plains below, now completely alone. They immediately alerted the Mobile Veterinary Unit of the calfs whereabouts and decided to lead our orphans group, who had been joined this day by Natumi and Edie to the abandoned calf. The orphans immediately surrounded her, gave her reassurance and comfort, and it was not long before she was totally integrated into the midst of the orphan herd. It was soon time for them to begin their long walk back to their night stockades and Msinga, named after the hill from whose vantage point she was spotted, followed closely. She followed them all the way back to the stockades, a distance of over 8 kilometers. However once there, despite much coaxing from the older orphans, she was not confident enough to follow them into their night stockades.

Msinga sticking close to her new found family  Edie being very protective of Msinga at the stockades

Dr. Ndeereh then tranquilized the calf in order for her to be manhandled into the safety of the stockades for the night. Despite the strange surroundings she settled in fast with the others close for comfort.

Msinga is tranquilised while the other orphans stay close to offer comfort  Msinga is tranquilised and lifted onto a stretcher and wooden planks so that she can be slowly pulled towards the stockade

Msinga while asleep on the wooden planks is slowly behind the landcruiser  Msinga now safely in the stockade

Msinga sticking close to her new found family  Msinga wakes up in the stockade

In the following days she remained in the confines of the stockades with the reassuring presence of a different orphan each day staying back with her for comfort until she tamed down and became comfortable with the Keepers presence. Having settled down, amidst great excitement, she was able to join the other orphans on their daily outing in the bush and seemed truly happy to have a family unit to call her own again. The other orphans singled her out for preferential treatment as little Msinga, the youngest member of the Voi Unit in those days, who was very precious to them all.

Msinga and Mweiga  Mweiga with her special baby Msinga

Mpala keeps a watchful eye on Msinga  Msinga stays close to Thoma



Please see the resources above for more information on MSINGA

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