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 3, 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:

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

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

6/29/2016 - Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau, Chaimu and Kilaguni in the company of six wild bulls arrived at the stockade compound early before dawn. Makireti and her group decided to lie down and take a nap whilst waiting for water and lucerne, and the wild elephants surrounded the water trough and waited patiently for the water to be turned on. At six o'clock in the morning, the orphans were let out soon after drinking their milk. Chaimu stood at the entrance and welcomed the juniors out by entwining her trunk with them; the first one was Narok. Shortly later, the juniors and Makireti’s group settled for lucerne. After feeding Narok played with Chaimu while Kasigau played with Kilaguni. Orwa engaged Makireti in a pushing game but soon lost and went to play with Bomani. Their game was short-lived as Kasigau walked over to them and pushed both of them away to engage Bomani in a pushing game. Bomani surrendered making Kasigau go and look for someone else to play with and lucky enough, Teleki was willing and they had a lengthy pushing game. As the orphans were preparing to leave for browsing, Yatta and mulika’s groups reported to the stockade compound. Kasigau, Kilabasi, Laragai and Narok surrounded Wiva all trying to say hello, which really made Wiva feel special. Wiva charged and moved in different directions with all these nannies in hot pursuit.

Two wild dogs showed up for water and there was a lot of drama when Zurura spotted them. Zurura charged and ran towards them. The wild dogs scattered making it difficult for Zurura to get them. Zurura rumbled and trumpeted to ask for reinforcement from his friends. Within no time there was an overwhelming response as Loijuk led the response team to chase the wild dogs away. The wild dogs accepted defeat and disappeared bringing the drama to an end. The orphans settled to browse at Kanziku area.

The day was a hot one and the orphans browsed under trees as they looked forward to attend their lovely mud bath when the temperatures are high. Bongo engaged Vuria in a pushing game that ended in a draw. Shortly before mud bath time, the juniors were joined by Olare and her group. Six wild bulls were also in attendance, one of them having received treatment from our mobile vet a month ago, and he was doing fine. Soon after mud bath Teleki engaged Kalama in a pushing game while Olsekki had a new style of soil dusting - he knelt down and started throwing dust on himself. In the afternoon, the temperatures were still high and the orphans browsed calmly while flapping their ears and in the evening Barsilinga spent some time soil dusting.

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

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