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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 MAKIRETI  Female  Thursday, July 2, 2009 Ziwani area near Tsavo West National Park  Approximately 1 year old  She was found abandoned on community lands with no elephants in the area  Reason Unknown 

Latest Updates on MAKIRETI:

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

10/10/2017 - The orphans were joined by Makireti and Olare’s groups in the morning. Karisa and Galla carried their little piles of lucerne and moved away from their friends. Galla finished his pile first and tried to force Karisa to share his pile with him but Karisa refused, and moved away with his pile which annoyed Galla. Galla pushed Karisa from behind then turned to go and look for more lucerne. Shortly later, the orphans left for browsing. Barsilinga, Garzi and Laragai lagged behind enjoying the company of the junior Ex Orphans. They later joined their friends in the Kanziku area where they had settled to browse. Ten wild elephants reported for water two hours after the orphans had left for browsing. Noticeable was a three day old baby elephant that was in the company of the wild elephants. The group left after drinking enough water.

Tusuja settled to browse with Dupotto while Sokotei was very busy digging the roots of a certain shrub. Wanjala took a break from feeding and relaxed under tree as it became fairly hot. Kamok and Enkikwe had lightly friendly pushing game that didn't go on for long. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Yatta’s group. Missing were Kinna, Galana and their babies. The sun was so hot, causing Yoyo to fall into the water trough as he tried to touch the water. It took Yatta and her friends sometime to rescue him from the water trough. After getting him out, Yatta walked Yoyo away from the scene simply because it was obvious that Yoyo would fall in again. Tusuja joined Lenana who was peeling bark of an acacia tree and Tusuja tried to beg a piece from her, but Lenana wouldn’t give in. Tusuja then waited until she had left and then he got the chance to take some bark Lenana had left behind. In the afternoon, the orphans were joined by Challa and converged under a tree as they waited for the temperature to drop before they resumed browsing. Oltaiyoni had brief light strength testing exercise with Tusuja. In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath again where they wallowed before heading home.

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

 Makireti and Kandecha Makireti during mudbath time
Makireti and Kandecha
photo taken on 7/14/2010
Makireti during mudbath time
photo taken on 7/14/2010


This female calf of approximately 1 year old was spotted at around midday on the 7th July 2010 by a Community Game Scout by the name of Isaac Mutua who was on a routine patrol on the Muhoho Farm owned by the Kenyatta family near Ziwani abutting Tsavo West National Park. The young elephant was alone and wandering aimlessly with no wild herds in the area, its emaciated condition indicative that it had obviously been orphaned, with no chance of survival being still milk dependent. What happened to its mother is not known, but what is known is that there is a great deal of human/wildlife conflict in that area, as well as poaching for both ivory and bushmeat, with elephants now being targeted because they provide both evil and lucrative commodities. Sadly, many of the communities abutting Tsavo are agricultural based rather than pastoral and as such definitely not ele-friendly. It is not unusual for orphans found in that particular area to be willfully maimed or killed by being speared, irrespective of size.

Mercifully this young calf escaped that fate, her presence instead reported to the officer in charge of the Taveta Out Station, Ms. Constance Mwasho who, in conjunction with the Senior Warden in charge of Tsavo West, Daniel Woodley, alerted the Trust and coordinated the rescue.

The calf tied up at the airstrip waiting for the rescue plane to land  DSWT Keepers approach the small calf

Trying to restrain the calf so she can be fed and loaded into the waiting rescue plane  Feeding the calf

As usual, the Trust chartered a Caravan Aircraft, which left Nairobi at around 2 p.m. to airlift the orphan back to the Nairobi Nursery, where she arrived soon after 5 p.m. and was put in the stable next door to that of Kudup. Being still relatively strong but understandably extremely fearful and aggressive, it took three stalwart Keepers to ward off her repeated onslaughts and to set about calming her overnight and getting her to take milk. By morning, they had succeeded, and the calf had taken milk overnight and was desperate for more, but in this respect it is important to proceed cautiously and not to overload the stomach of an emaciated candidate for fear of upsetting it. Such calves are usually too feeble to withstand diarrheoa which, in an elephant, is an extremely life threatening condition.

Preparing Makireti for the flight  Loading the elephant onto the plane

The calf prepared and strapped in for the flight to Nairobi  Makireti in her stable the day after she arrived at the Nairobi Nursery

The name proposed by those whorescued her is Makireti, meaning “one left in the wilderness” in the Taita tribal dialect. We feel this appropriate, and so little Makireti becomes the 16th elephant currently in the Trust’s Nairobi Elephant Nursery.

It only took a day to tame Makireti down sufficiently for her to join the other orphans and she has become very much part of the group, accepted and loved by them all. It seems she has made a special bond with both Kandecha who is also a new arrival himself and Mawenzi, who always has time for all the newcomers.

Kandecha, Makireti and Mawenzi - firm friends

Makireti during mudbath time  Makireti and Kandecha

Out browsing in the forest


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