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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 KILAGUNI  Male  Thursday, December 11, 2008 He was found near the Chyulu Gate, Chyulu Hills National Park  Approximately 5 to 6 months old  He had been attacked by a predator, we suspect a Hyena, with injuries to his tail and hind quarters and ears.  Reason Unknown 

Latest Updates on KILAGUNI:

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

2/26/2018 - Twelve wild elephants who came late at night, drank water and decided not to leave until early in the morning to have a second drink when the water was turned on. The elephants have learned with time that when the water in the water trough finishes there is always someone to turn it on, or a bowser to fill it up. So these elephants always exercise patience to receive more water, something that we humans can learn from them. The water was turned on and the wild elephants quickly quenched their remaining thirst before leaving one by one. Oltaiyoni was attracted to a wild born baby that was waiting for her mother to drink water. The wild born baby acted tough towards Oltaiyoni knowing that her mum was just close by if things turned ugly. The clever Oltaiyoni knew that if she mishandled the five month old, things would not turn out well since the baby might raise an alarm and its mum would come running to defend her.

Later in the bush the orphans were joined by Kilaguni and Bomani who later left with Laragai and her group. At mud bath it was really hot prompting the orphans to wallow in the water for a long time. In the afternoon, the sun was still hot making the orphans relax under a tree for nearly two hours before browsing again. In the evening, Wanjala took a break from feeding to participate in a soil dusting exercise. Only Laragai reported back to the stockade late in the evening, the rest of her group didn't come back as they know once they are in the stockade, the gate would be locked and Laragai will not be able to let them out. It is ironic that Laragai is sometimes the only one to return considering she was the one that used to let all the others out!

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

 Abdul prepares the antibiotic injection. Abdul takes down the details about Kilaguni's rescue.
Abdul prepares the antibiotic injection.
photo taken on 5/22/2009
Abdul takes down the details about Kilaguni's rescue.
photo taken on 5/22/2009


The 22nd May 2009 saw the arrival of another little orphaned elephant into our Nairobi Nursery, this time a male of approximately 5 – 6 months of age, who had been found alone and wounded, having somehow survived an attack by a predator, possibly a lone hyaena, because had there been more than just one, he would certainly not have been able to survive a pack assault. He was flown to the Nairobi Nursery from the Kilaguni Lodge airfield in Tsavo West National Park, and has been named “Kilaguni” since the Chyulu Gate is not far from the Lodge.

The flight to Tsavo.  The rescued calf waits for the aircraft at the airstrip.

The Kilaguni airstrip.  Kilaguni still on the back of the vehicle.

Feeding Kilaguni.  Kilaguni surrounded by some of those who rescued her and the rescue team of Keepers.

He arrived in the Nursery just after dark on the 22nd, and by torchlight we were able to assess the extent of his wounds. His entire tail had been bitten off, leaving just a swollen stump at the base, with surrounding tooth punctures clearly visible. Bite sized chunks had been taken from both ears, and there were wounds on his back legs, some fairly deep. However, He was in fair physical condition, so had probably only been without his mother for a couple of days, and had probably been beside her body when the hyaena turned up to feed on the carcass, the fact that the carcass was there probably the reason why he managed to escape being killed. The reason for his being orphaned is not definitely known, but with the situation as it is today, one would be forgiven for making the assumption that it is likely to be as a result of poaching for ivory. Sadly this is becoming ever more commonplace throughout the country ever since the sale of the Southern African stockpiles, exacerbated by the presence of Chinese road construction workers in the country eager to acquire ivory, plus the down-turn in tourism which has impacted even further on revenue allocated for field operations. Persisting drought conditions following the failure of the long rains and the illegal intrusion of livestock into the Protected Areas competing with wildlife for food and introducing disease is another factor that impacts on the survival of elephants.

The rescue plane on the Kilaguni airstrip.  Abdul prepares the antibiotic injection.

The chunk out of Kilaguni's ear is evident in this photograph.

The calf was transported in the back of the KWS vehicle.  Hyena's had completly severed the calf's tail.jpg

Little “Kilaguni” was a remarkable 6 month old baby in that he was immediately loving to the Keepers, despite the pain of his wounds having to be cleaned and dressed, and the usual prophylactic injections he had to endure from day one. Desperately sucking on their fingers, and desperate for milk and water, there was no hint whatsoever of aggression or fear from the start, which in an elephant of that age is most unusual and usually cause for concern – too calm for comfort, as experience has taught us over the years. His stomach was in a mess so he was put on a course of antibiotics plus the usual Blockers and on day two, he was allowed to join the other Nursery elephants out in the bush, having made friends with Tassia, his next door neighbour at night in the adjoining partition of one of the stockades. We can only assume that having been through such a terrifying ordeal without the protection of his mother or the herd, subsequent events brought comfort and enormous relief to be handled with care and kindness once more, and more importantly find himself not alone in such a strange setting. The input of the other orphans is always what imparts most comfort to any Nursery newcomer.

Preparing Kilaguni for the flight

The young calf is prepared for the flight  The KWS officers and rangers involved in rescuing Kilaguni from near the Chyulu Gate.

Abdul takes down the details about Kilaguni's rescue.

Checking on Kilaguni during the flight.  Inside the rescue plane.jpg

Flying back to Nairobi over the Chyulu Hills with Mt. Kilimanjaro behind.

Kilaguni integrates with the other orphans at the nursery  Kilaguni taking a bottle of milk once in the Nairobi Nursery.


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