The following is information on the Elephant Orphan named: TELEKI  (foster now)

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 TELEKI  Male  Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Judea area  About one and a half years old  He was seen on his own in the community lands abutting Mount Kenya’s forests in the area of Judea. The fate of his mother remained unconfirmed but he was a suspected human wildlife conflict case.   Man Made Cause for Separation 

Latest Updates on TELEKI:

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

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

10/29/2018 - Karisa led the way out soon when the gates were opened. The orphans joined ex-orphans Kenze, Orwa, Bomani and Narok who had reported early before dawn. Wanjala and Ukame settled to feed on one pile of lucerne pellets with Kenze. Kenze didn't entertain the two orphans but told them to look for another pile since that one wasn't big enough for the three of them. Wanjala persisted, which forced Kenze to push him away. Shortly later, the ex-orphans and the orphans together walked out to the bush. The inquisitive Wanjala settled to feed with Kenze as he tried to understand how life is out in the wild. Kenze was not that keen on entertaining Wanjala, as shortly later he walked away.

At mud bath time, the orphans participated in wallowing soon after having their milk. The competition was between Ukame and Esampu as each tried to get to the finish-line first; that being where the Keepers are standing with their milk bottles. When Ukame saw that Esampu was about to win, she tried to block her by pushing her from behind. Esampu didn't fight as she knew she would be fighting a losing battle, and so she surrendered and followed behind Ukame slowly. The lone and independent Sapalan joined a wild bull to drink water and later followed his group. Sapalan looked a bit tired and in the evening on the way back to the stockade he was unusually slow. Yatta and the entire ex-orphan group reported for water in the evening. Missing were Bongo and Teleki who have attached themselves to Nasalot’s group for the time being.

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

 Teleki and Kwale enjoying a mudbath Teleki at the orphanage
Teleki and Kwale enjoying a mudbath
photo taken on 10/1/2012
Teleki at the orphanage
photo taken on 9/30/2012


On Saturday the 8th of September we received a call from the KWS Vet, Dr. Mathew Mutinda, with news about an abandoned elephant calf in the community lands abutting Mount Kenya’s forests in the area of Judea. The fate of his mother remained unconfirmed but he was a suspected human wildlife conflict case.

Mount Kenya straddles the equator just 193 kms north of Nairobi and is the second highest peak in Africa at 17,057ft. An ancient extinct volcano whose period of activity dates back to 3 million years ago it is deeply dissected into valleys radiating from the peaks capped with equatorial snow. The mountain’s base is 96 kms wide and, due to altitude and rainfall changes, the vegetation varies enormously. There are 20 glacial tarns (mountain lakes) and unique mountain vegetation, including the giant groundsel at high altitude, crystal clear mountain streams then tumble down through verdant forest and bamboo in the lower altitude reaches. The forest falls between National Park (formed in 1949) and Forest Reserve, a combined 1,420 square kilometers and is where the elephants, buffalo and giant forest hogs, to name just some of the mammals of the area, can be found. At lower altitudes the Park and Forest Reserve border on heavily populated areas, as the volcanic sediment in the surrounding regions provide fertile soil, and this coupled with the huge volume of water makes for favorable agriculture lands.

Mount Kenya  My Kenya streams, Teleki's home area

It is very likely that this calf’s elephant herd strayed into the community lands around the Judea area, near Meere river, and in the ensuing human conflict the mother was either injured and later died, or the calf was left behind in the chaos. The villagers had observed the calf alone in the area for three days before reporting it to the authorities, and a wound between his shoulder blades indicates that they also tried to kill him. His presence was reported to KWS Platoon Commander Mt. Kenya, Mr. James Kailangush, who responded in time to rescue the baby as many local villagers were milling around it with ill intent. Having already reported this to us through Dr. Mutinda they proceeded to capture the calf with rangers from the Kenyan Wildlife service and Scouts for the Mount Kenya Trust, along with the aid of some helpful community members too.

In the meantime from DSWT’s Nairobi HQ the rescue team, comprising of our experienced Keepers, took off from Wilson airport in a Cessna Caravan, for the short 35 minute flight to Nanyuki airstrip where the calf was driven to by KWS. Once in Nanyuki, the calf still conscious and strapped down in the vehicle, our Keepers were able to take a close look at the injuries and ascertain that they were not as deep as originally thought. Having cleaned the wound, and prepared the calf for the flight he was loaded onto the aircraft and flown back to Wilson, arriving late evening at the Nairobi Nursery.

The Keepers prepare to load the orphan in the rescue plane  The orphan in the rescue plane

Once landed at Wilson airport the orphan is off loaded into the DSWT Vehicle  The Keepers carrying the orphan to the stockade once arrived at the Nursery

Teleki once arrived at the nursery

He has been named Teleki, fittingly a name synonymous with Mount Kenya. Count Samuel Teleki led the first expedition to penetrate the forest zone of Mount Kenya in 1887 and his expedition entered the mountain’s jungles through a valley later named Teleki in his honor. Seen as a Holy Mountain by all the communities living in the central highlands around Mt. Kenya, the Kikuyu tribe firmly believe that God Ngai and his wife Mumbi live on the peaks. So to some saving this calf was very important, while others saw him as a source of free meat – but he owes his life to many compassionate and dedicated people who did much to ensure he was bought into our care, hopefully to have a second chance at life, this time not in the forested valleys of Mt. Kenya, but in the arid vast wilderness of Tsavo.

Teleki and Kwale enjoying a mudbath

This journey will be taken together with his new Nursery elephant friends, who in time will replace the lost family he still remembers. Amongst them is a special friend, Kihari, also rescued from Mt. Kenya, who will always share along with him the same dim memories of forested misty mountain slopes.

Teleki at the orphanage  The forest surrounding Mt Kenya, Teleki's home area


Please see the resources above for more information on TELEKI

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