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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 MELIA  Female  Thursday, July 3, 2008 Near the Mombasa Pipeline opposite the Ndara plains in Tsavo East National Park  1 year  The calf was found all alone by our De-snaring team with no other elephants in sight  Poaching 

Latest Updates on MELIA:

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

1/25/2018 - On their night adventures, Laragai and her group came across Tumaren, Melia, Olare, Kitirua, Naisula, Kalama, Chemi Chemi, Chaimu, a wild orphan and Kilaguni. Shortly before dawn, the group walked back to the stockade compound where they decided to take a little nap before being joined by the juniors. Boromoko and Sirimon checked in later in the company of a wild bull. The wild bull settled for water as Sirimon stretched his trunk to the bulls mouth, enquiring which way they would go after drinking water. Sirimon and Boromoko, who have become good friends lately, are learning how to be big boys. Their friendship has been reinforced since they were the last to join Laragai’s independent group, and it appears that there is something they don't like about the group. Time will tell what it is that is bothering them! The bull left soon after drinking enough water and advised Sirimon that he was still young to go out with him, but from time to time he will be popping back to give him one or two lessons.

When the juniors were out Galla, who is growing fast, settled for a chat with Boromoko as he tried to find out what were his feelings were, given that he always spends the night out. The gentle Boromoko gave his answers as he took Galla into a series of pushing tactics that he would be using to attack his fellow boys. It appeared that Galla was enjoying the lessons and games and when the time comes, we think he would certainly love to join Boromoko in the wild. Later Galla tried to put into practice what he had learned from Boromoko on Tusuja, and attempted to climb on him. Tusuja didn't like it and turned to face Galla to see what his problem was. Galla stood his ground which seemed to inform Tusuja that he should watch this space and he was trying hard to be the most dominant male! The quiet Dupotto who keeps to herself and who never likes to be pushed settled for a soil dusting exercise, while the independent Sapalan settled in the valley enjoying a great variety of vegetation. On the way to the mud bath, the keepers realized that Sapalan was missing from the group. A search was quickly mounted and to the keeper’s surprise, he was still browsing in the valley, very unconcerned about what was going on around him. Sapalan weaned himself off milk the second day after arriving in Ithumba. So to him, nothing is special and he is giving signs that he can be on his own and he can survive without any problem. Later, it was realized that a short distance away four bulls were communicating with Sapalan, assuring him that all is well and if he wanted to he could join them too. It's only a matter of time before we think Sapalan will bid goodbye to the stockade life. Karisa used to behave the same way as Sapalan, but the only difference is that Karisa is still drinking. At the moment he has calmed down a lot, unlike before when he wanted to run off into the bush all the time. It was not long ago when Karisa ran off with Dupotto and Kelelari for close to three months! Karisa turned up in a group of Ex Orphans and rejoined the milk dependent group several metres from where he took off for his foray in the wild.

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

 The Rescue vehicle at the airstrip Melia at the Voi Unit Stockade
The Rescue vehicle at the airstrip
photo taken on 8/6/2009
Melia at the Voi Unit Stockade
photo taken on 6/28/2009

ORPHAN PROFILE FOR: MELIA (foster now)


During the late evening of Saturday 27th June, a yearling female calf was found all alone by our De-Snaring team near the Mombasa Pipeline opposite the Ndara plains in Tsavo East National Park. There were no wild elephant herds in sight, and since there were also a lot of lions in the area, our Voi Elephant Keepers were alerted that a rescue was imminently needed to save the life of this calf who probably would not survive another night out alone. Baby elephants definitely cannot survive without milk if orphaned under 3 years of age, and few manage to survive even when orphaned between 3 and 5 years of age. Whilst wild living elephants will usually accept and protect an orphaned baby to the best of their ability, once the orphan weakens as a result of milk deprivation, and begins to jeopardize the survival of the herd, the Matriarch has to make the decision to abandon it to its fate in the interests of all the others under her leadership. There are very few, if any, elephants that will have to lactating capacity to nurture an orphan as well as their own calf, especially during a tough dry spell, and calves at foot themselves are extremely possessive of their mother’s milk bar, and will go to great lengths to prevent another from usurping what they view as their prerogative.

The DSWT team capture the orphan  Capturing the calf

Loading the orphan on to rescue vehicle at Ndara  Melia at the Voi Unit Stockade



With the help of KWS Rangers, our Voi Elephant Keepers were able to overpower the abandoned calf, and having covered its head with a blanket and bound its legs, transported it back to the Voi Stockades for the night where it took water, and a little milk from a bucket. The next morning it was airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery., initially named “Sombe” after the KWS Security Commander, but later renamed Melia after the African Mohogany Trees (Melia Volkensi) which are a feature of the area ad were planted by the late David Sheldrick around the Headquarters and at the 5 Entrance Gages to Tsavo East National Park.

The Rescue vehicle at the airstrip  The calf is lifted off the truck and into the plane

The calf is under stress from the whole experience of being orphaned & rescued

The DSWT rescue team lift the orphan into the rescue plane

Melia, a feisty elephant upon arrival



Little “Melia” was quite feisty upon arrival in the Nursery (a good sign) and gave her Keepers quite a run around during her first night in the stockade abutting that of Tassia. However, she took water from a bucket and during the night managed some milk from a bottle, though not without a struggle. However, having been in the stockade for 24 hours, and observed the behaviour of the other Nursery orphans around their Keepers, she had calmed down sufficiently to suck the Keepers’ fingers and take milk.

Melia upon arrival at the Nairobi Nursery  Melia

Melia and her keeper

   

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