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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 LEMOYIAN  Male  Sunday, June 24, 2012 Found trapped in a well close to Amboseli National Park  about 3 months old  He fell down a manmade well and got separated from his family  Well Victim 

Latest Updates on LEMOYIAN:

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

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

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 LEMOYIAN: (view gallery of pictures for LEMOYIAN)

 The calf in the rescue plane The calf bonding with Mishak once at the Nursery
The calf in the rescue plane
photo taken on 11/2/2012
The calf bonding with Mishak once at the Nursery
photo taken on 11/2/2012


On the Western side of Amboseli National Park about 1 km from the Tanzanian border, there is a deep watering well called the ‘Lemoyian Well’ where the resident Masai cattle herders water their livestock. The whole area is known as Lemoyian, named many years ago after a prominent Masai family.

During the night of the 8th October a great deal of commotion was heard by some of the local community members at the well. Upon further investigation it was obvious that the noise during the night was a mother elephant desperately trying to save her calf that had fallen down the well. A local community member and livestock owner named Muterian Ole Saboti, who had found the mother and calf at sunrise, reported the situation to the Amboseli Research Station first thing in the morning of the 9th when the mother elephant was still at the well struggling to free her calf. Sadly herds of cattle began streaming into the area in order to drink from the well, forcing the mother to abandon her calf. Muterian stayed with the baby until help arrived, having managed to singlehandedly chase-off a group of local youths from spearing him.

Officials from the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) soon arrived at the scene and were assisted by community members in extracting the calf. The orphan was then loaded into a vehicle and driven to the Amboseli Park airstrip, from where it was met by the DSWT rescue team and soon airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery. The calf, a beautiful baby bull who was about 3 months of age on arrival, arrived at the Nursery by 5pm and has since been named “Lemoyian”. We feel for the mother elephant who is obviously grief-stricken having lost her calf, and we are incredibly saddened that this orphan could not have been reunited with his family. Since the well is very close to an international border, and the mother could well have crossed into Tanzania, it was not an option for the rescuers to attempt to reunite the family.

The orphan at the airstrip  The Keepers feed the orphan and prepare him for the flight

The Amboseli Trust for Elephants team who helped rescue the calf  The calf is tied down for the flight to the Nursery Unit

Muterian's selfless and committed protection of little Lemoyian until help arrived is an example to all of us. An appropriate way to reward his exemplary conservation behavior is being decided in the hope that it will go some small way towards encouraging others in the wider community, and especially within his local community, to feel the same way about the wildlife they share their land with.

The calf in the rescue plane  The calf bonding with Mishak once at the Nursery

Lemoyian with Julius

Of course huge thanks go to Muterian himself, the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and also Tortilis Camp who were extremely helpful in the rescue, and who have now made a ramp for the waterhole so that any future animals caught in the well can escape easily.

Muterian comes to visit the orphans

Solomon, Muterian's friends visits the orphans  Muterian visits Lemoyian

Muterian visits Lemoyian

Although it is still early days Lemoyian is thriving at the Nursery. He was initially treated with anti-biotics as the staff at ATE informed us that the well into which he had fallen was very dirty, therefore the likelihood of him ingesting toxic water was high. The treatment seems to have helped as we have not had much trouble with his health, although he initially lost a little weight due to the change in diet and stress of losing his mother, but this will improve in time. He is a very boisterous little bull and loves being mothered by the older females like Mutara and Shukuru, who spend much of their time hugging him and letting him huddle underneath them.


Please see the resources above for more information on LEMOYIAN

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