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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 ROROGOI  Female  Friday, August 10, 2012 Kwale County  14 months old  Had been on her own for over a month before being rescued  Poaching 

Latest Updates on ROROGOI:

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

9/29/2015 - This morning there was much anticipation at the nursery as a new baby boy arrived from Turkana in Northern Kenya. All the orphans came out of their pens full of excitement; as if they knew it wasn’t just a normal morning. Oltaiyoni came out of her pen to greet Lasayen, Kamok and Mbegu who were waiting for her outside. They touched and exchanged trunks as a sign of greeting and together they met Dupotto who was waiting for her friend Embu to come out. When Embu came out they all went wild, even those that were still inside their pens. They broke out trumpeting and rumbling like a musical band, but a brass one in a very low tone. Some of the older girls, Arruba, Suswa, Rorogoi and Mashariki were pushing and breaking down the short bushes attached to the stockades. The young ones were chasing the warthogs around and the boys paired up in pushing games, Sokotei with Sirimon and Enkikwe with Olsekki. No one was left out and they were all active doing something in pairs or groups. The games came to an end with the arrival of milk hour and by then almost everyone was exhausted – there was no hurrying and fighting for who got to the milk first!

Some minutes to seven o’clock, some of the keepers left for Wilson airport. The evening before the orphanage had received a call from the KWS at Lobokat station near the Wei Wei River and South Turkana National Reserve. They had found a lone male elephant calf which had been left behind by its family after they had been driven out from a farming area by the farmers. Rangers patrolling Orwa area had located the calf and had tried to reunite it back with its herd but they all apparently had run away from fear of man. They took the calf to their camp where it spent the night with them before our own rescue team arrived at Turkwel airstrip to bring it back to the orphanage. Upon their arrival they fed the calf some milk, which he took very well since he had not been fed on anything for at least one or two days. Just before 2pm the team was back at the nursery with the baby. He looked very exhausted and thin and after an evening milk bottle he went straight to sleep. He got up when Mbegu came back home from the bush and he went over to the partition between their stables and went back to sleep next to her pen. Mbegu was putting her trunk through the wooden slats which woke him up again and he was happy to see her as she went on communicating to him throughout the night.

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

 The calf is carried into the stocakde and restrains are untied Rorogoi running
The calf is carried into the stocakde and restrains are untied
photo taken on 11/15/2013
Rorogoi running
photo taken on 11/12/2013


Rorogi’s fate was reported to us on the 9th of October by the Kenya Wildlife Service and our Faru Anti poaching team was sent to Kwale County to respond.

Nature is a mystery in itself, but luck certainly played its part in this situation. It is difficult to explain how this young milk dependent elephant managed to survive over a month in isolation, independent of her mother, and herd, and all this amid people! The surrounding communities (Akamba, Duruma, Taita, and Kikuyus) could easily have messed with the animal given their lifestyles and economic activities, but she remained safe thanks to Mr. Steven Muinde, the owner of the farm on which this orphaned baby Elephant found refuge, and also thanks to the Kinango KWS station head quarters to whom the report was first relayed who then contacted our team to assist in saving this calf’s life. Rorogoi was found in Kwale district closer to the coast than Tsavo. She has been named after the area where she was found.

About to leave for the rescue  The calf is captured

Restraining the calf  Loading the calf into the Faru desnaring vehicle

Ready to go to the airstrip

The mystery is how Rorogi found herself on Mr. Steven Muinde’s farm. The area is densely settled with plenty of agricultural activities and plenty of livestock too. The distance between this farm and any nearby ranches associated with wildlife is great, and it remains unknown as to where Rorogoi’s herd actually originated from. Was it Tsavo, the dispersal ranches abutting Tsavo, Shimba Hills National Park or the Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary? The reason for Rorogoi being orphaned remains unknown too, but most likely a result of poaching or human wildlife conflict. This young orphaned elephant by chance roamed onto elephant friendly Muinde’s 20 acre farm in Kwale County, where there was green vegetation, water for drinking and a small swamp for mud wallowing with some thickets here and there for hiding. She took refuge for all this time trying to remain safe. Thankfully it had recently rained which can be the only explanation of how Rorogoi managed to survive such a long period without her mother. She owes her life to a kind man who kept her from harms way, as the Duruma tribe in this region are extremely partial to elephant meat, and all forms of bush meat.

Rescue teams at the airstrip  In the back of the vehicle at the airstip

The calf is offloaded from the landcruiser  Preparing to load the calf into the plane

The calf is loaded into the plane  In the plane on the way back

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Faru anti poaching team went together with KWS armed rangers to rescue her. They arrived late evening on the 9th of October and were unable to locate her until the morning of the 10th of October. They captured her and drove her in the back of their anti poaching Land rover to Tsavo where our rescue team was waiting to airlift her to the Nairobi Nursery in Nairobi National Park. She arrived in emaciated condition, very thin and extremely fearful. She very soon latched onto her bottle and it was not long before she was out with the other orphans during the day in the park. However her first days were rather fraught as she remained extremely fearful of humans and would take off into the forest escaping from the Keepers and then be unable to find her way back to the Nursery herd. The first week we had to undertake a number of ‘Rorogoi rescues’ which required a team of Keepers scouring over 15 square kms of Nairobi Park in an effort to find her, as she is small enough to be vulnerable to predators.

The calf arrives at the nursery  The calf is carried into the stocakde and restrains are untied

the orpahn on its feet in the stocakde  Sniffing

Rorogoi  Rorogoi in her stockade

The calf is called Rorogoi  In the stockade having milk

Rorogoi eating greens

She soon settled down however, and is now comfortable with the Keepers, the visitors and of course relishes the company of the other orphans having been deprived of elephant company for so long. She is clearly a very robust little elephant who has survived so many traumas before being lucky enough to be rescued thanks to many people going out of their way to ensure help came her way.

Rorogoi out in the bush with the others  Rorogoi with the rest of the nursery group

Rorogoi having milk in the bush  Rorogoi running

Rorogoi and Lentili at the visiting hour  Rorogoi out in the bush


Please see the resources above for more information on ROROGOI

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