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)

10/31/2015 - The partially independent group, which is led by Olare, was at the stockade compound in the morning. As soon as the gates opened for the juniors to come out, Kalama and Tumaren went into the stockade to find out if there was anything left to feed on. The rest of the partially independent group joined the juniors in feeding of lucerne. After, Mutara led her group away leaving the partially independent group relaxing at the stockade compound. In the browsing field the orphans concentrated only on browsing. At around nine o’clock in the morning the temperatures skyrocketed, sending the orphans to seek shelter under a tree that had good shade. At one point Kanjoro, Barsilinga, Bomani and Lemoyian drew water from their stomachs and sprayed it behind their ears. At mud bath time, all the orphans participated in wallowing. As the orphans were winding up the mud bath activities, Kainuk spotted three warthogs approaching mud bath. From the looks of the warthogs, they knew very well that it would be very difficult for them to access the mud bath with the presence of the orphans there too. As the warthogs stopped to analyze the situation, Kainuk didn't give them a chance but charged, trumpeting as she sent the warthogs back to the bush by running after them. The warthogs ran as fast as their legs could carry them. When they were out of sight, Kainuk returned back happy as she rejoiced for sending the warthog’s away singlehandedly. In the afternoon, Orwa spent some time scratching on a fallen tree as Vuria teamed up with Kithaka in browsing. Towards evening, Mutara, Kanjoro, Kithaka, Lemoyian, Turkwel, Bongo and Barsilinga dodged the keepers and returned back to the stockade early before the normal time. They found the stockade gates closed and relaxed at the water troughs spraying water behind their ears before they were walked back to join their friends.

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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