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)

2/26/2018 - Twelve wild elephants who came late at night, drank water and decided not to leave until early in the morning to have a second drink when the water was turned on. The elephants have learned with time that when the water in the water trough finishes there is always someone to turn it on, or a bowser to fill it up. So these elephants always exercise patience to receive more water, something that we humans can learn from them. The water was turned on and the wild elephants quickly quenched their remaining thirst before leaving one by one. Oltaiyoni was attracted to a wild born baby that was waiting for her mother to drink water. The wild born baby acted tough towards Oltaiyoni knowing that her mum was just close by if things turned ugly. The clever Oltaiyoni knew that if she mishandled the five month old, things would not turn out well since the baby might raise an alarm and its mum would come running to defend her.

Later in the bush the orphans were joined by Kilaguni and Bomani who later left with Laragai and her group. At mud bath it was really hot prompting the orphans to wallow in the water for a long time. In the afternoon, the sun was still hot making the orphans relax under a tree for nearly two hours before browsing again. In the evening, Wanjala took a break from feeding to participate in a soil dusting exercise. Only Laragai reported back to the stockade late in the evening, the rest of her group didn't come back as they know once they are in the stockade, the gate would be locked and Laragai will not be able to let them out. It is ironic that Laragai is sometimes the only one to return considering she was the one that used to let all the others out!

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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