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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 KITIRUA  Female  Thursday, February 26, 2009 Amboseli National Park  18 Months  The calf was found wandering alone near the Kitirua swamp  Reason Unknown 

Latest Updates on KITIRUA:

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

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

10/6/2018 - The orphans woke up to find twelve bulls already present at the stockade water troughs. As the wild bulls had their fill of water, the orphans settled for their lucerne. Kithaka and Oltaiyoni had a slight disagreement, which resulted in Kithaka pushing Oltaiyoni away and refusing to share the lucerne with her. After feeding on lucerne pellets, brave Laragai encouraged Barsilinga to join the two wild bulls that were still at the water troughs. Out in the browsing field, Galla and Karisa took a break from feeding to engage each other in a strength testing game that ended all too quickly as they both tired of the game. Shortly after, the orphans were joined by Naisula, Kitirua, Kibo, Murka, Kalama and Tumaren. Garzi and Naisula entwined trunks in morning greetings but this soon turned into a pushing game.

Yatta and Galana’s groups checked in at the stockade compound briefly before leaving into the Park again. On the way to have their milk, Naseku competed with Wanjala by racing. Naseku emerge as winner while the competition between Karisa and Mundusi saw Mundusi beat Karisa again. The temperature was moderate and the orphans participated fully in the wallowing exercise. Kauro was not happy boy when he was pushed by Kitirua. The Keepers intervened by warning Kitirua to stop her bullying behaviour.

After the orphans had enough wallowing, thirty two wild bulls reported for water and stayed at mud bath as long as they wished as they enjoyed drinking and a cooling off exercise. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans settled to browse at upper Kalovoto area. The rebel group led by Laragai group returned back to the stockade early before five and were not allowed entry until the rest of the group reported back at the normal time.

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

 Aden, Amos, Julius and Zoom Zoom 
Aden, Amos, Julius and Zoom Zoom
photo taken on 10/28/2010

photo taken on 9/29/2010


This calf from Amboseli National Park was sited on the 14th September 2010 in amongst the W.A. Family, so named for identification purposes by the Amboseli Researchers who have studied the Amboseli wild elephant population for the past 40 odd years. On the 29th the calf was again spotted by Norah of the Research Unit, but this time was all alone not far from the Swamp. She was thin, so had obviously been without her mother for several days. The fate of the mother is not known for sure, but she is suspected to have been the victim of poaching. Another possibility is that the calf became bogged in the swamp and subsequently abandoned by the herd.

  Aerial veiw of Amboseli

Elephants below  Amboseli 1

Amboseli elephants

Soila of the Amboseli Research Team reported the presence of the orphaned calf to the KWS Warden of Amboseli before alerting Cynthia Moss in Nairobi who alerted the Trust that a rescue was needed. The plane left at 2 p.m. with Keepers from the Trust’s Nairobi Park Elephant Nursery and all the paraphernalia needed for the rescue aboard, while a second plane flew in a French Television Unit, who happened to doing a documentary on the Orphaned Elephants.

Preparing to land  Aden, Amos, Julius and Zoom Zoom

Landing at Amboseli  The French film crew

Preparing for the rescue  The orphaned calf

Kitirua just before rescue

The team was met at the Amboseli strip and transported to where the calf was close the swamp. Although visibly emaciated, the calf was easily restrained and captured by the Trust’s Keepers, and put up little resistance. After a short journey back to the airstrip, just as daylight faded, they took off for the forty five minute return flight to Nairobi. Covered with a blanket and strapped down in the plane she remained motionless throughout the flight, with our Keepers close at hand. One can only imagine how frightening the whole experience must have been for her. On arrival at Wilson airport in Nairobi she was driven to the Trust Nursery, arriving after dark at about 8 p.m.

The calf is found  Even the pilots got involved in the rescue proceedings

Even the pilots got involved!  Restraining the calf

Capturing the calf  Working hard to capture the calf

The calf is restrained  The calf is captured

Restraining her for the journey  The calf and the Keepers in the back of the KWS landcruiser pickup

In the back of the landrover  Aden pleased that the rescue ordeal is behind them

Amos driving back to the airstrip  Zoom Zoom one of the keepers who went to rescue Kitirua

A KWS vehicle drives the team & orphan back to the airstrip  On the way to the airstrip they passed an Amboseli bull

She is a female calf, still without tusks, so aged between 15 and l8 months and at the suggestion of the Amboseli Researchers she was named “Kitirua”, the name of the hill overlooking the Swamp. She still had sufficient strength to give her Keepers a run-around throughout the night, but with lots of t.l.c. and the input of the other orphans and the milk of course she soon tamed down. After three days was able to join the others, and she is now is fully integrated into the Nursery and thankfully putting on weight. It is heartwarming to see her love for the new elephant family she has inherited, just when hers was lost, and to see her find happiness again. She is one of the lucky ones, rescued by many people who did so much to ensure she had a second chance.

Loading the calf into the rescue plane before heading back to Nairobi  Loading the calf as the sun faded

The rescue story is written down before departure  The flight back to Nairobi

Returning to Nairobi  Kitirua being greated warmly by the Nursery elephants the morning after her rescue


Please see the resources above for more information on KITIRUA

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