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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 OLTAIYONI  Female  Saturday, April 20, 2013 Ziwani Voyager Lodge - Tsavo West National Park  6 months  Observed on her own near the lodge for a few days with no other elephants around  Reason Unknown 

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

1/29/2019 - Ithumba Hill was partly covered by clouds when the orphans left the stockades and settled for lucerne. The weather was also chilly and the grass was covered in dew following light showers that fell early before dawn. Out in the bush, the orphans concentrated on browsing with Esampu teaming up with Ukame while Tusuja settled to browse with Olsekki. Kithaka, Barsilinga and Garzi as usual parted ways with their dependent friends and reported back to the stockades later in the evening.

At mud bath time the temperature was okay, and the orphans did decide to go for a little wallow, including Enkikwe who is still recovering one year after he was attacked by a lion. After mud bath, Kamok, Tusuja, Esampu, Roi and Olsekki decided to roll on the ground and later Olsekki engaged Oltaiyoni in a pushing game that saw Olsekki surrender shortly after. In the afternoon, Namalok engaged Wanjala in a pushing game that ended in a draw. In the evening, only one wild bull showed up for water at the stockade compound.

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

 The calf is placed on a drip Oltaiyoni chewing on a branch
The calf is placed on a drip
photo taken on 11/23/2013
Oltaiyoni chewing on a branch
photo taken on 11/21/2013


On the 22nd of October, Angela Sheldrick was called by a staff member from Ziwani Voyager Lodge located in Tsavo West National Park with news of a young lone orphaned elephant that had been seen hanging around close to the lodge for a number of days. It was clear the young elephant was an orphan due to her deteriorating condition.

The DSWT Voi Keepers, together with the KWS/DSWT Veterinary unit, were contacted and in the late evening arrived at the scene. With the help of the lodge staff, the team easily caught and restrained the calf. She was carefully placed in the back of a vehicle and given intravenous fluids for the duration of the journey back to the Voi Stockades in Tsavo East National Park. Once there the keepers placed her in one of the taming stockades with the orphans close at hand for comfort. She was too wild to feed on milk and due to the late hour the arrangements to fly her to the Nairobi Nursery were planned for the following day.

Julius with the orphaned calf  The calf is in a pushing mood

Feeding the new baby

The calf who is estimated to be approximately six months old has been named Oltaiyoni; after a small tributary running into the Ziwani swamps close to where she was rescued.

Leaving Wilson  On the way to the airstrip

Restraining the calf for the flight  Getting the baby ready for the flight

Preparing the calf for the flignt  A keeper on the flight

She is named Oltaiyoni

The next morning Oltaiyoni seemed calmer and took a bottle of milk, while the Voi team awaited the arrival of the Nairobi Keepers in the rescue aircraft. She was recaptured and prepared for the flight before being driven the short 3km to the Voi National Park airstrip to wait for the arrival of the plane. The Nairobi Keepers once again placed her on I.V. fluids to manage her dehydration levels throughout the flight.

The calf is placed on a drip  Enroute to wilson

The calf arrives at the nursery  Offloading the calf at the Nursery

The calf is placed in the stockade  Edwin gets acquainted with the calf

Having some milk in the stockade in Nairobi  Sweet little Oltaiyoni

Once Oltaiyoni arrived at the Nursery she was placed in a stable with Barsilinga as a neighbor next door. She immediately took her milk, but remained very shy and fearful of any humans coming too close. She was ready to join the others out in the Park the very next day and quickly learnt the ropes, absolutely addicted to her milk bottle. Barsilinga quickly became a dear friend and this incurred the wrath of a jealous Kithaka who was Barsilinga’s close companion. Poor little Oltaiyoni has had to contend with Kithaka not always being very nice to her from time to time. Thankfully however, this is becoming less frequent as Kithaka has learnt to accept that Oltaiyoni is here to stay and he will just have to share the attentions of Barsilinga with her.

Oltaiyoni chewing on a branch  Oltaiyonie running

Oltaiyoni hiding in the bushes  Oltaiyoni stretches out her trunk in greeting

Oltaiyoni enjoying her milk


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