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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 LARAGAI  Female  Tuesday, February 28, 2012 Borana Ranch  Approximately 1 year old  Found alone within the Simangua Valley of Borana Ranch near Laragai House  Poaching 

Latest Updates on LARAGAI:

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

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

12/21/2018 - Ndiwa led the way out this morning, although she wasn't confident in herself. The moment she reached outside the gate, she stopped and allowed Sana Sana to go forward. The sky was clear and the orphans settled for lucerne pellets as usual. It's now ten days since Laragai ran away at night. Ever since Laragai left, Kithaka, Garzi and Barsilinga have never wandered far away from the dependent orphans and never return to the stockades late either. It seems it was Laragai who was their ring leader and who they felt safe out in the wild with. Perhaps Laragai realized they were too young to join her out after all, and she ran off so that they would stay with the dependent orphans and Keepers where they are safe.

The orphans settled to browse in Kone area and had a quiet morning. Olsekki teamed up with Naseku to feed and they had a brief chat before parting ways. It was quite cool in the afternoon and after having their milk, the orphans went back to browsing without having a mud bath. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area.

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

 Laragai greets the school children at the public visting hour Lemoyian and Laragai
Laragai greets the school children at the public visting hour
photo taken on 3/13/2013
Lemoyian and Laragai
photo taken on 3/13/2013


On the 28th of February 2013 a lone female calf was sighted by staff at Borana Lodge in northern Kenya. Although the baby elephant was clearly unaccompanied there were elephant herds within the area, so the staff decided to wait and see whether the calf would re-join her family.

Borana Ranch lies between the peaks and glaciers of Mount Kenya to the south and the vistas of mountains and desert to the north, having taken its name from the native Boran cattle farmed on the arid grasslands that cover the environment. The ranch, which continues to be a successful working cattle ranch, sits within a vast conservation area, which is teaming with a host of wildlife and especially the African Elephant of which there is a population of over 300 within the conservation area. The ranch has twelve matriarch cows with radio collars in the Laikipia area so that they can monitor their movements, with one particular matriarch taking her extended family of sixty on a journey covering 92 miles in one week.

During the following days after the calf’s first sighting the lodge management continued to look for her yet did not spot her until the morning of the 2nd of March, when the decision was made to take her into their safekeeping, as clearly she remained an orphan and her condition was worsening. The Borana Ranch rangers successfully managed to capture the abandoned elephant calf at 1.45pm on the 2nd within the Simangua Valley of the Ranch, before she was loaded into their vehicle and driven to the lodge to await the DSWT Rescue team, who had received the report earlier in the morning and had prepared for an afternoon departure from Nairobi’s Wilson airport.

Laragai is brought to the airstrip at Borana  The Nairobi Keepers give Laragai stresnil

On arrival at the Borana airstrip the DSWT team could already see how stressed the calf was, as is the case with all of the orphans who are forced to endure such a traumatic ordeal, so the calf was given a small dose of Stresnil as well as the precautionary Nuroclav to guard her against pneumonia resulting from a weakened immune system.

The Nairobi Keepers give Laragai Stresnil  The staff at Borana help prepare Laragai

The Rescue Team and the new orphan arrived at the Nairobi Nursery in the late afternoon after a successful plane journey and she was soon safely relocated to a comfortable stockade next to Sities, who was a soothing and loving presence to the newcomer who needed all the reassurance and care she could get. After the pressure of the rescue it was finally time for a closer inspection of the skinny new girl joining the orphan family; having been aged at approximately one year old she was soon given the name ‘Laragai’, which is both the name of a beautiful valley within Borana Ranch as well as one of the ranch’s exclusive houses.

Laragai is captured and prepared for a flight to Nairobi  Laragai is loaded onto the rescue plane

As expected Laragai was in a wild and emaciated state whilst also being riddled with stomach parasites, although despite her condition she took milk from a bucket during the night, despite being very wary of the Keepers. The following morning she had calmed down noticeably and took milk from a bottle, but only through the safety of the stockade gate as she still didn’t want her new human family to get too close. Laragai took much longer than usual to tame down despite our Keepers best efforts.

Laragai arrives at the Nairobi Nursery  Laragai eats some greens in her new stockade

Laragai in Nairobi

Finally we took the plunge and let her out of the stockades to join the others on the 12th March, and after some early pushing of both the Keepers and the other Nursery orphans she settled down fast and even joined the visiting public at 11.00am for the one hour along with her Nursery inmates.

Laragai greets the school children at the public visting hour  Lemoyian and Laragai


Please see the resources above for more information on LARAGAI

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