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:

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

6/28/2015 - Yatta’s, Mulika’s and Lualeni’s groups reported at the stockade early in the morning. When the orphans left the stockade, Chyulu was quick to welcome Lemoyian and escort him to the browsing field. Narok challenged Yetu in a strength testing exercise and later Orwa joined Narok in fighting Yetu. When Yetu was unable to deal with the two orphans, she opted to withdraw from the game to avoid being ashamed. Teleki engaged Makena in a strength testing game that saw Makena emerge victorious due to her experience and because she is stronger than Teleki. The former orphans remained at the stockade compound as the orphans headed for browsing. Napasha, Buchuma and Challa had a game of pushing one another in turns. An hour after the ex-orphans disappeared, the partially independent group led by olare came for water at the stockade water trough. In the browsing field, the boys spent some more time playing strength testing games. Bomani played with Lemoyian, Bongo with Vuria while Orwa played with Kanjoro.

Lemoyian appears to be in high demand and selling like hot cakes amongst a group of ex-orphans girls, and so drove them crazy when they all met at mud bath. Sidai, Chyulu and Lenana were competing of who amongst themselves would win his attention. It was like a merry go round; whenever one of the girls stepped away from Lemoyian, another girl would step in immediately. Only time will tell who amongst the three girls would be the ultimate winner. Lemoyian walked down to the water hole where he stood at the edge watching those who were wallowing. As Lemoyian was relaxing at the edge of the mud bath, Yetu emerged from nowhere and decided to teach Lemoyian a lesson and pushed Lemoyian into the water and then walked away. Lemoyian, Kithaka and Barsilinga always try to avoid mud bathing, but in this instance Lemoyian had no choice but to wallow because he was pushed into water. Lemoyian didn't wallow for long however, but the fact remains that he had tested the water after a long time without taking a bath. Kudos goes to Yetu for making Lemoyian take a bath!

Bongo and Laragai were the last to leave the mud bath whilst Narok had a brief conversation with Nasalot using her trunk. Narok is always the one to communicate first with the ex-orphans. After mudbath, the ex-orphans in the company of five bulls parted ways with the junior herd. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at Kanziku area. The temperatures were moderate with a nice cool breeze so the orphans browsed calmly after a long morning of fun and antics.

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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