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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 ISHANGA  Female  Tuesday, November 10, 2009 Maktau area Tsavo West National Park  1 year  Rescued from the jaws of a lion by the Ziwani desnaring team  Poaching 

Latest Updates on ISHANGA:

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

3/24/2015 - Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau, Chaimu and Ishanga were sleeping outside the stockade overnight and were there when the babies came out of their stockades. The noise made by the opening of the gates woke them up.
It appears, the five arrived at night and opted to sleep and wait for the others until morning. This is a second time of Chaimu being seen without her friend Kilaguni. Only time will tell if they had a misunderstanding that made Chaimu to quit and join Makireti. It looks like she is taking her cue from Ishanga, she is always changing groups and only time will tell. As the orphans settled for lucerne, Narok, Teleki, Orwa, Bomani and Garzi kept themselves busy by scratching on the nearby rocks. Chaimu exerted her authority over the juniors as she moved around taking their lucerne by force. Shortly later, Makireti and her group left to drink water and thereafter disappeared heading towards east. At the browsing field, the quiet Garzi defended himself from Bomani when Bomani attacked him from the back. Garzi turned and faced Bomani. Their pushing went on for quite some time until Orwa intervened and separated the two boys.

Suguta with a team of eleven members arrived at the stockade for water shortly before eleven o'clock in the morning. The group consisted of Suguta, Melia, Tumaren, Olare, Kibo, Kitirua, Murka, Naisula, Kandecha, Chemi chemi and Kalama. They took water, relaxed in the shade, dusted themselves and greeted their Keepers before heading back into the bush. Meanwhile at the midday mudbath site soon after eleven o'clock milk feeds, the orphans headed for wallowing with an exception of Orwa, Kainuk and Bomani who boycotted the exercise. Teleki and Narok were the last to leave the wallowing as they had been enjoying lying on top of each other. After wallowing, Shukuru, Bongo, Turkwel and Kanjoro spent some time scratching against the nearby acacia trees. In the afternoon, the sun was really hot causing Shukuru, Turkwel and Bongo to flap their ears continuously as they moved from one area to another in search of better pastures. In the evening, the weaver birds who are our signal for the start of the rainy season, arrived and perched in the acacia tree at the stockade compound. Shortly before dark, heavy clouds opened up and we received a welcome 4mm of rain. Nothing too dramatic but it was a welcome respite from the heat and settled the dust.

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

 Ishanga is surrounded as she exits the stockade Ishanga in the bush
Ishanga is surrounded as she exits the stockade
photo taken on 12/18/2010
Ishanga in the bush
photo taken on 11/26/2010


On Wednesday, the 17th November, we received a call from our Ziwani desnaring team leader, Nicodemus, about an orphaned elephant calf that the team, along with KWS rangers, had rescued. The Ziwani team operates in the southern sector of Tsavo West National Park, and in recent months this area has experienced an increase in elephant poaching. Recently we have received a number of orphans from this area, Makireti, Murka, Salaita and now our most recent arrival Ishanga. We named her Ishanga, after the area where she was found. (Another name for the area more commonly known as Maktau.)

Lions  Lioness

Preparing to load the injured rescued calf into the vehicle  Ishanga captured, the bite of the lion evident

Ishanga was rescued literally from the jaws of death. Not only was her condition very poor, as she had obviously been without Mum for many days, but just as the team who had sighted her all alone during a routine patrol, circled to capture her, a lion leapt out of the undergrowth and grabbed the vulnerable elephant baby by the neck. This most unexpected twist to the rescue caused enormous panic, and in the scramble the KWS ranger managed to fire gun shots into the air, and very fortunately the lion let go of its prey.

Ishanga waits at the KWS entrance gate while the rescue plane is arranged  The team restrain Ishanga at the airstrip, waiting for the rescue plane

Ishanga at maktau airstrip after rescue

The calf was now injured and paralyzed by fear, so the team members (themselves pretty shaken) were able to restrain her quite easily having ensured the encircling lions were now a safe distance away.

Cleaning Ishanga's wounds before loading her into the plane  Ishanga being led to the plane

Ishanga being loaded into the plane

She was driven to the Maktau airstrip in the Ziwani antipoaching team landrover, where the team waited with the baby until the rescue plane and Nairobi Keepers landed. She was immediately prepared for the flight and after an hour plane ride brought straight to the Nairobi Nursery.
Initially she was extremely wild and certainly did not let anyone close, not even to take water or milk. But with gentle and tender company throughout the night she succumbed to her hunger and eventually took both milk and water by bottle from the Keeper in the early morning hours of the next day. As is so often the case with starvation victims, once she started taking in food she collapsed in a shivering state, and that familiar dread crept over us all as we wondered whether the events of the past week had proved too much for her. But after injections of Selenium, Vitamin B12 and being on an intravenous drip for two hours she eventually struggled back to her feet much to everyone’s delight. That afternoon, despite being so weak, we bought the other orphans to her stockade and they enveloped her with love that fueled a Will to Live. She left the confines of the stockades following them into the bush, and instinctively the orphans knew not to venture too far afield. This whole experience seemed to do the trick. The next morning she joined the group, and even ventured to the midday mudbath, and despite the visiting public, for that hour surrounded by the others she seemed totally calm.

  Cleaning Ishanga's wounds

Ishanga in her stockade  Ishanga

Ishanga on drip  Ishanga heads to the corner of the stockade

Ishanga in her stockade the day after her rescue  Ishanga gets a very warm welcome from the others

Ishanga is surrounded as she exits the stockade

With her wounds now healed Ishanga is one of the greediest babies we have, insatiable for milk. She has worked out the milk routine and literally climbs into the wheel barrow carrying the 3 hourly milk rations in an attempt to get her bottles first. She is desperately thin, and despite her many new Nursery friends she still misses her lost family terribly. She suffers from nightmares, but we feel sure that with the passage of time she will learn to find true happiness again thanks to the love and attention from her Keepers and the other Nursery orphans. Fate truly intervened in Ishanga’s case; her destiny is to live a full and happy life.

Ishanga leaving her stockade  Ishanga gets a very warm welcome from the others

Ishanga in the bush  Ishanga with one of the other orphans

Ishanga communicating with one of the other orphans  Ishanga at the public visiting hour

Ishanga at visiting


Please see the resources above for more information on ISHANGA

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