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:

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

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

10/26/2014 - Ishanga in the company of ten wild bulls were at the stockade early before six o'clock in the morning. When the juniors left their night stockades, they joined Ishanga. Orwa was the first one to start the day’s activities by scratching on his favorite rock and thereafter followed by Garzi and Shukuru as Turkwel played a different game of lying down. Mulika and her baby joined the orphans and later 12 other wild elephants joined the 10 wild elephants that were taking water at the stockade water trough. After they all had enough, the herds left and the orphans finally got an opportunity to drink. Ishanga led the way to the browsing fields and met up with Suguta’s group and returned with them back to the stockade leaving the dependent orphans and their keepers to head out for the day.
The orphans settled to browse at the Kone area today. The independent Bongo fed separately from the others whilst Kanjoro and Sities fed together as Bomani fed close to Kainuk.

The mudbath was quiet as not a single wild elephant showed up. The orphans headed for the mudbath soon after their milk. Bomani was the first one to quit the mudbathing and went to scratch on the walls of the mud wallow followed by Shukuru and Vuria. Narok, Laragai and Teleki enjoyed the mudbathing the most. They had a prolonged wallowing and left with mud all over their bodies. Kanjoro and Orwa went up to scratch against the acacia trees whereas Kainuk had a good roll on the ground before going for scratching. Kanjoro and Teleki had a score to settle by engaging in a pushing game. Teleki quickly surrendered and went to scratch against one of the acacia trees. Kanjoro picked a piece of stick and used it to scratch in between his front legs as Turkwel was scratching her bottom a few meters away. In the afternoon, Turkwel relaxed under a tree because the sun was hot. Vuria and Narok were feeding close to each other while Kainuk broke a branch and walked round the other orphans with it in her mouth. On the way back to the stockade, Bomani led the way.

In the evening Napasha, Madiba, Lualeni, Kora, Makena, Sunyei, Loijuk, Kenze, Lenana, Nasalot, Galana, Meibai, Rapsu, Zurura, Orok, Sidai, Challa, Ololoo, Taita and two wild elephants came to the stockade. After drinking enough water, Loijuk engaged Madiba in a pushing game while Zurura and Rapsu tested their strength a few meters away. Napasha and a wild bull just relaxed at the water trough.

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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