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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 ORWA  Male  Friday, December 03, 2010 Orwa community land near Nasalot and South Turkana National Reserve  About one year old  He was rescued by KWS after being spotted alone by members of the Orwa community  Poaching 

Latest Updates on ORWA:

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

2/28/2015 - The orphans left the stockade at 6am and headed straight to the water trough where they fortified themselves with enough water to sustain them for the entire morning. On the way to the browsing field Bongo scratched his ear against a tree and Garzi, Vuria and Bomani scratched their buttocks on rocks along their way. The scratching routine is very much part of everyday as they dislodge unwanted ticks. Orwa pushed Bongo off the tree so he could scratch himself but Sities saw his mean behavior to her roommate and in retaliation pushed him off and used the tree to scratch herself. Shortly afterwards Makireti and Chaimu’s groups joined the juniors. Kanjoro and Kilabasi entwined trunks. Kasigau went to feed close to Vuria and from time to time they communicated through touch by inserting their trunks in each other’s mouths. An hour later Suguta and Olare’s groups with two wild juniors in tow briefly joined the orphans. The wild juniors, the size of Kamboyo, were very nervous when they saw the keepers and withdrew quickly from the orphans, heading off north. The entire partially independent group and Kamboyo followed the wild boys leaving the orphans with their keepers. Before mud bath time the temperature rocketed forcing Turkwel and Shukuru to hide under the same tree.
After having their milk the orphans went to play in mud and drink water at the water trough. After drinking, the mischievous Sities got into the water trough and started splashing the water. The keepers shouted at her and she quickly left, charging and trumpeting, into the bush. When Kainuk saw that the water trough was free, and that no one was watching, she put front legs into the water and tried to locate the inlet pipe with her trunk. On hearing the keepers approach she got out and ran away as she knew she was being naughty. Teleki and Vuria scratched their muddy bodies against the nearby acacia trees. In the evening the ex-orphans, along with three wild bulls, passed by the stockade, drank water and then left. Shortly before dark the entire partially independent group plus Kamboyo and his two wild friends came to drink at the stockade compound. The fact that the partially independent group have arrived twice in one day to drink shows that most of the water holes they were depending on in the past few months are now dry.

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

 Orwa Orwa being greeted by Tano
photo taken on 12/1/2011
Orwa being greeted by Tano
photo taken on 12/1/2011


On the 29th of November we got a phone call from the Senior Warden of South Turkana Game Reserve about an elephant orphan found in the Orwa area near the Reserve boundary. As the call came in late in the evening, the rescue Team had to wait until the next morning to leave for the flight. KWS Rangers captured the calf and kept him overnight until the Keepers could fly could get there the following day.

Stephen & Julius at the airport  Scenes from the flight

On the morning of the 30th November 2011 the Keepers flew to the area and rescued the calf who is estimated to be about one year old, obviously a victim of either poaching or “problem animal control”. He had been without his mother for some time, and in an advanced state of emaciation upon arrival. As an orphan alone and in such feeble condition, he had obviously been harassed by small predators – perhaps Turkana domestic dogs or jackals, who inflicted superficial bite wounds on his body.

The KWS men involved in the rescue  Orwa with his rescuers

The KWS Rangers and Keepers near the rescue plane  Stephen

The Keepers prepare the orphan for the flight to Nairobi  Orwa before loaded in the plane

The Keepers tie the orphans legs so he will not try to stand in the plane  The orphan is ready to be loaded in the plane

Juluis with the orphan on thep lane

So relieved was he to suddenly find empathy and caring company, (albeit from what to him must have been perceived as ‘the enemy’), that from the onset he was sucking on the Keepers’ hands, taking milk and entrusting himself into their care.

The Keepers with the orphan on the way from the airport to the Nursery  Off loading the calf at the Nursery

Orwa in his stockade  Orwa feeding

Orwa with Julius

This is very unusual for an orphan of his age, often signaling the end, so we were surprised to find that he had even survived the first night in the Nursery without descending into a coma and having to be put on life support. Very few elephants remain in that extremely harsh and arid desert environment which is riddled with gun-toting Pokot and Turkana tribesmen, most of whom are anything but ele-friendly.

From the start, Orwa was a loner, deeply saddened and depressed over the loss of his elephant mother and family, choosing to stay apart from the other orphans, and trailing behind them, the epitome of misery, dejection and severe emaciation. Since his stools were problematical, he underwent an oral course of Suphadimidine, and since then has improved, now able to get up from a sleeping position without help. We are hopeful that time and tender loving care will heal this tough little elephant from the lava wastes of the South Turkana Game Reserve both psychologically and physically.

Orwa  Orwa with Naipoki and Julius

Orwa being greeted by Tano  Orwa with Sities

Orwa with Sities and Kithaka

Orwa with Julius  Orwa with the herd of orphans


Please see the resources above for more information on ORWA

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