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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 MBIRIKANI  Female  Sunday, December 13, 2009 Chyulu Hills  3-4 years old  Found on with a horrendous wound caused by a cable snare on her foot  Poaching 

Latest Updates on MBIRIKANI:

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

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

2/19/2018 - It was a bright and sunny morning as the orphan elephants took their morning milk bottle before settling to enjoy the supplements that had been put out for them.

The orphans left for the days browsing activities under the leadership of Bada who led them along the eastern narrow path at the base of Msinga Hill. Tundani and Suswa were a little lazy today, and did not want to move up hill with the others, choosing instead to browse at the foot of the hill.

At midday, the orphans had their afternoon milk bottle and hurriedly rushed to the baobab water hole for a bath as it was sunny and warm. Mbirikani took a quick bath, but was feeling very hot and sought refuge from the scorching sun under an acacia tree. Ndii enjoyed an amazing time in the mud with both Tahri and Araba. The rest of the days browsing activities took place close to the waterhole with the orphans occasionally taking shelter from the sun.

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

 Mbirikani eating greens Mbirikani enjoying some fresh greens
Mbirikani eating greens
photo taken on 6/30/2013
Mbirikani enjoying some fresh greens
photo taken on 6/30/2013


On the 29th June the Big Life team in the Chyulu area were alerted about a calf with a cable snare on the foot, unable to walk properly and clearly in distress. They in turn immediately contacted KWS and the Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit funded by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The Unit’s Vet Dr. Poghon traveled to the Chyulus in order to administer immediate assistance.

The immobilized calf's wound is examined  The snare is deeply embedded

The female calf was approximately 3 – 4 years old, and her right front foot very swollen, and walking was extremely painful for her, so this was most probably why she could not possibly keep up with her herd. The reason for this horrendous injury was a cable snare taught around the foot. She was dart, the snare was cut away, and then the team set about the gory task of cleaning out the maggots and pus, and giving her huge doses of antibiotic.

It was clear that the wound was in need of ongoing treatment, and this compromised calf, on her own, was very vulnerable. The decision was made for the calf to be transported to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Voi stockades, here Dr. Poghon could continue to give her treatment and monitor her condition, and she would be in the company of the Voi Orphans ensuring that she has the best possible care, and company. She was transported the long journey on a bed of hay in the back of the Ol Donyo Lodge pickup.

The snare wound following removal of the snare  Mbirikani in the stockades at Voi

The grueling journey took 8 hours with Dr. Poghorn nursing her throughout. She was sedated, enough to take the edge off the stress of both the operation and trip. On arrival at the other end the presence of the concerned Voi elephant orphans provided her with great comfort and we are pleased to report that a week down the line she is doing well, feeding well and has settled into her new environment. Most importantly the horrendous wound on her foot is healing well.

Mbirikani eating greens  Mbirikani with snare wound injuries on front leg

Snare wound on Mbirikani's foot  Mbirikani enjoying some fresh greens

We thank the Big Life team headed by Richard Bonham and all those involved who helped rescue this calf from a slow and agonizing death. We have called her Mbirikani, after the group ranch where she was found and rescued.

The rescue team from Big Life  The voi orphans come to greet Mbirikani

The voi orphans greeting Mbirikani  Wasessa outside Mbirikani's stockade


Please see the resources above for more information on MBIRIKANI

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