The following is information on the Elephant Orphan named: RUKINGA 

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 RUKINGA  Male  Tuesday, September 4, 2012 Seen alone near a waterhole on Mgeno Ranch  Approximately 3 weeks old  He was seen on his own by an anti-poaching team while on patrol on Mgeno Ranch  Reason Unknown 

Latest Updates on RUKINGA:

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

10/25/2016 - The morning was beautifully bright with the stockade dependant orphans leaving the stockade as soon as they had finished their milk bottle and supplement foods. They travelled to the far northern side of the stockade browsing as they went, before turning around so as to arrive at the middle water hole slightly later than usual.

When moving towards the water hole for the milk feed, Nelion could not keep up with Rorogoi and so grabbed Rorogoi's tail in a bid to hold her back, but was unsuccessful in doing so. Nelson tried to engage Embu in a wrestling match but Embu however, ignored his advances.

At the mud bath the orphans encountered a big wild elephant herd that was drinking some water and the orphans enjoyed a wonderful bath with their wild friends. Bada went to enjoy some wonderful scratching games on the walls of the mud bath as he showed off his games to the visiting wild elephant herd. The two herds browsed together for half an hour before the wild elephants left in the direction of the Voi river circuit.

The stockade keepers were involved in the rescue of another orphan today. This orphan was rescued from Rukinga ranch and was immediately airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery.

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

 Murera mothering Rukinga Rukinga drinking his milk
Murera mothering Rukinga
photo taken on 10/4/2012
Rukinga drinking his milk
photo taken on 10/4/2012


This tiny orphan was found by the Rukinga team rangers attached to a patrol base on Mgeno Ranch in the Voi area on the 27th of September 2012. He was first seen alone near a cattle waterhole called Panda II. There was no evidence of any wild elephants remaining in the area, and he had obviously been alone for some time as his ears were becoming tender and sun burnt. The scouts monitored him for a further three hours to be sure that his herd or mother was not going to return. In this time it was evident the calf was desperate for company, joining a herd of cattle that had come in to water. He was only a few weeks old, with the dried remnants of his umbilical cord still showing on his underside, and given the increase of poaching in this area it is possible his mother was poached as elephants rarely leave their young.

The team who found him was a joint patrol between Kenya Wildlife Service and Wildlife Works, an umbrella organization involved in supporting the management of 14 ranches in the area through the sale of carbon credits from the land.
Rukinga was brought to the local patrol base and there, bewildered, he was tethered to a tree. A film crew studying the effects of poaching in the area joined him, and kept him company until the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Team from the Voi Rehabilitation Unit was called to collect him in their vehicle.

The Voi Keepers with the orphan on the airstrip  THe young orphan feeding on milk on the airstrip

Preparing the orphan for the flight to Nairobi  Loading the orphan in the rescue plane

Sammy in the plane with the orphan

Meanwhile the Nairobi rescue team was deployed and flew to meet the Voi Keepers on the ground in order to collect the calf and bring him to the Nursery Unit, joining the other young orphans at the rehabilitation centre in Nairobi. He is very young, we think approximately three weeks, but is a huge calf, almost the size of Barsilinga and he totally dwarfs little Kinango. His arrival was initially met with a luke warm reception from the older Nursery orphans who tended to shun him for little Kinango. He did not seem overly distressed by this though having battened onto the Keepers by this stage. However over time Sonje and Murera have taken him under their wings and he is now basking in their love. Murera is the oldest orphan in the Nursery and now that she has healed it has been amazing to watch her change, from being reclusive during her wounded months, preferring the company of her Keepers and Orwa only, later Sonje too, and now she is a boisterous member of the Nursery herd, and even with the capacity to show maternal instinct towards the new little calf who has settled in well and seems totally content with his new elephant family.

Rukinga follows the Keepers closely  Rukinga drinking his milk

Murera mothering Rukinga


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