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)

5/31/2015 - It was drizzling and the weather was very chilly as Sidai, Lenana, Ololoo, Buchuma, Zurura and Loijuk waited at stockade compound after arriving very early to wait for the juniors to come out. Ololoo, Buchuma, Loijuk and Zurura were on their normal routine visit but Lenana’s and Sidai’s mission was to spend the day with the new arrivals. The juniors had their morning milk and with the chilly weather relaxed in the stockade whilst Sidai and Lenana were getting impatient outside. As soon as the gates were opened they decided to go in the stockade to find out for themselves how the new babies had spent the night. Sidai and Lenana escorted Kithaka out as the rest of the juniors streamed behind them. Outside the stockade, Ololoo tried to mount Kithaka not knowing that Kithaka was heavily guarded. As soon as Ololoo was on top of Kithaka, Sidai and Lenana became cross and disciplined Ololoo harshly by knocking him away. After Ololoo was pushed away, he went to play with Orwa and then mounted on Vuria. Vuria made a lot of noise as he tried to disengage himself and so the keepers shouted at Ololoo which made Ololoo free vuria.
The juniors settled to the east of the stockade where Kithaka, Barsilinga and Lemoyian happily browsed close to Sidai but an hour later Sidai and her group bid farewell to the juniors and disappeared. It was still drizzling and Mutara rolled on the ground to play with the wet soil. Barsilinga, Kithaka, Lemoyian and Garzi joined Mutara in the game and enjoyed the wet mud. The three new babies all seemed settled and intermingled with the other juniors as if they had been in Ithumba all the time. Sities and Turkwel were showing the most interest in the new babies by joining them in feeding from time to time which made the new arrivals feel very important.
The weather was still chilly at mudbath time and accompanied by drizzles so the orphans only took milk, visited the water trough for formality and were led away by Mutara. Narok lagged behind as she scratched against a tree but the orphans settled to browse just a few meters down the road so she quickly caught up. Bongo was busy playing with the wet soil in front of the other orphans who were browsing since he loves mud and water. In the afternoon, the chilly weather cleared and Turkwel took Lemoyian aside and they browsed together for some time. Teleki joined Barsilinga and spent some time with him before Barsilinga moved to join Kithaka who was staying close to Narok. Kainuk browsed close to Shukuru while Teleki, Orwa and Turkwel had a wonderful time of dusting themselves with the wet soil. In the evening, Kithaka and Lemoyian took a break from feeding and had light pushing game as Bongo and Vuria finished up the day’s activities with a stronger pushing game which ended with Bongo riding on Vuria.

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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