The following is information on the Elephant Orphan named: NYIKA 

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 NYIKA  Male  Thursday, September 29, 2011 Taita Hills Sanctuary  10 Months  Found wandering alone  Poaching 

Latest Updates on NYIKA:

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

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

9/20/2012 - It was a very somber mood that greeted this morning, for poor little Nyika died at 7 a.m., soon after all the other Nursery orphans had paid him a visit before moving out to browse in the forest. At least they were able to say goodbye to him and he died surrounded by a loving human and elephant family. He will be sadly missed by us all and by all his foster-parents.

In another way, today was a special red letter day for Murera who, for the first time ever, accompanied the other elephants to the mudbath. Her joy was something wonderful to see, and her happiness in the mudbath was shared by all the others, as well as the visitors.
Murera truly is the Trust’s living miracle, especially as none of the Vets believed that she could ever heal enough to ever walk again, but she rolled in the mud and the loose soil with gay abandon – a living miracle to be sure!

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

 Nyika with Balguda The calf at Voi stockade
Nyika with Balguda
photo taken on 7/30/2012
The calf at Voi stockade
photo taken on 7/29/2012


Nyika is estimated to be approximately 10 months old, a lone male calf whose rescue story almost duplicates that of Bomani and Panda. Somali Cattle herders illegally graze their cattle in Tsavo East National Park in their thousands, and following attempts by KWS to drive them out, the herdsmen have vowed reprisals against the elephants who utilise the ancient migratory route (now the Taita Ranches bordering Tsavo.) Some of these are now leased from Taita tribesman to Somali's for grazing rights and with the current price of ivory as it is the area has become a poaching hotspot.

The lone calf desperate for water was first sighted by the scouts of both Taita and Rukinga Ranches. They remained with the elephant observing its pitiful plight as it wandered aimlessly exhausted, emaciated and thirsty, desperately trying to reach water at a water point called Tangi overwhelmed with hundreds of Somali Cattle. The remains of two recently poached female elephants were confirmed in the area, and given the condition of the calf who had clearly been without his mother for sometime, the scouts concluded as nighttime approached that they should capture him before he befell the same destiny as his mother. They immediately reported this to the KWS authorities who confirmed that he should be captured and held safely overnight so that the rescue team could move in in daylight hours. Our Voi Elephant Keepers travelled there the following day, 29th July, and he was driven to the Voi stockades to await the arrival of the rescue plane to airlift him to the Nairobi Nursery.

Securing the calf  Securing the calf for transport to the Voi stockades

Loading the calf into the vehicle  The calf is offloaded at the Voi stockades

The calf is carried into the stockade  The calf is placed in one of the stockades at Voi

The calf at Voi stockade  The calf in the stockade at Voi

The calf is given milk  Giving the calf milk

The calf is comforted by Abdi

Weak and in a pitiful state this little bull was so relieved to find himself near other elephants and humans that were kind and loving, with access to milk and water, that he was calmed very quickly and relished his good fortune. He has been named Nyika (The term commonly used for the arid scrubland comiphera bush that is indigenous to the area of his rescue, which was formally known as the Taru desert). His stools were pure mud to begin with, indicating the harsh conditions to which he was tragically subjected following the loss of his mother and her life sustaining milk.

Preparing to take the calf to the airstrip  Loading the calf into the pickup for transport to the airstrip

Preparing to load Nyika into the plane  The calf in the plane

Nyika during the flight to Nairobi  Nyika is brought into the stockade

Nyika in the stockade in Nairobi

We continue to monitor this calf very carefully, whose survival is by no means assured, in view of his weakened state. But he is indeed one of the few very fortunate orphaned elephants from that area that thanks to the kind actions of the Taita and Rukinga Scouts and the compassion of the authorities of KWS has been afforded another chance of life. We are proud at having been able to help in this way.

Nyika with Balguda  Nyika

Nyika with the herd


Please see the resources above for more information on NYIKA

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