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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 ELKERAMA  Male  Tuesday, November 20, 2012 Elkarama Ranch Laikipia  Two and a half years old  Observed on his own for a period of three weeks , always on the periphary of wild herds but unable to join a herd  Reason Unknown 

Latest Updates on ELKERAMA:

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

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

4/6/2016 - Ngilai happens to be one of the happiest babies at the nursery. He has always been a jovial one and when he is not playing with his orphan friends he is playing with his keepers. When interacting with his keepers his favourite thing is to push them mostly. Kamok has always been his favourite adopted mother since the departure of Elkerama to Tsavo. At public visiting today he was in such a playful mood and just wanting to play his pushing game with any keeper that came along. He also hung out with Kamok the whole day they were out in the bush, just like a real baby with its mother in the wild. They would spend a few minutes browsing, then he would spend a few minutes suckling on her ear and playing with her too. This has helped him so much health wise, never developing any complications since his arrival at the nursery.

Sometimes the orphans are just like humans and they will quarrel over the smallest things. This happened between Mbegu and Dupotto at public visiting today. These two are almost the same age and size too and are in the same herd. Mbegu is the mini matriarch of the family and sometimes the two compete over leadership roles even though Mbegu normally comes out on top here. Dupotto was feeding on a branch when Mbegu tried to snatch it away from her. They started fighting over it and a keeper had to jump in and intervene by dividing the branch into two pieces.

Later in the evening as the orphans were grouped together waiting for the time to go home to bed, Alamaya had a nice branch with leaves and full of ripe seeds. Roi came over to take it from him but he wasn’t prepared to let his food go! Again this resulted in a fight and a keeper had to intervene by cutting the branch in two for them to share and restore peace.

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

 Elkerama with Boromoko Elkerama out with the rest of the orphans
Elkerama with Boromoko
photo taken on 6/6/2015
Elkerama out with the rest of the orphans
photo taken on 6/6/2015


In mid May an orphaned elephant was reported on Elkarama Ranch in Laikipia, a milk dependent calf of approximately 2 ½ years old had been observed over a period of three weeks. There was no evidence of a dead mother, and when the elephant herds passed through during this time he would sometimes join them, but always on the periphery and then he would be left behind once they moved on. A pride of 20 lions in the area posed a huge threat to this lonely little elephant who very definitely was without a family. His plight was reported to the authorities and to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. He was a touch and go case to be flown out by aircraft given his size, but it was clear that with each passing day his condition was deteriorating. The DSWT/KWS Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit was mobilised with KWS veterinary officer Dr. Rono and the capture unit rangers to mount a rescue.

Torrential rains throughout Kenya made logistics challenging with flooding rivers, with even highways in Nairobi becoming raging torrents causing extreme traffic congestion. We were mindful that his journey to Nairobi by vehicle was going to be a long one without additional delays caused by the floods. Fortunately the day his rescue was planned, the 15th of May, there was respite from the rain. The unit captured the calf in the early morning, and they did this without anesthetizing him which was incredibly helpful. Because he was going to undergo a long journey recumbent, coming around from anaesthetic can slow bodily functions, bringing on bloat and other complications. The skilled capture unit rangers had the calf captured and restrained in no time and once loaded onto the veterinary land cruiser he was administered a tranquiliser to take the edge off his long journey.



The Veterinary unit began the journey without delay and finally the calf arrived at the DSWT Nursery at 2.30pm. The heavy load was manoeuvred into a stockade prepared with cut greens and given his final medication before lifting him to his feet. He had handled the challenging journey remarkably well. We placed him in a stockade next to little Alamaya, and he was comforted enormously by the presence of the other Nursery orphans whose stockades surrounded his on three sides and their presence settled him well. He fed on greens and began to take his milk from a bucket before finally trusting the Keepers enough to feed from a bottle. We called him Elkerama, with a different spelling to the ranch, but a name which will forever identify him with his place of his origin. Elkarama means ‘treasured possession’ or ‘answer to prayer’ in Arabic.

The calf arrives at the nursery  In the back of the vehicle

On arrival at the Nursery  Preparing to offload the calf

Offloading  The calf is placed in the stocakde

Being given some milk  In the stockade soon after arrival

Some of the nursery babies come to greet the new arrival

On day three we experienced a scare when he collapsed in a weakened state shivering all over. We were able to retrieve him through intravenous drips and he has not looked back. Because the torrential rains created a quagmire in his stockade Angela made the decision to let Elkerama join the others out in the forest very early on, when he still remained fairly wild. This was far preferable to him remaining in a wet and muddy stockade with greens constantly being cut for him. He was chaperoned out of his boma by the other Nursery orphans who were extremely nurturing and he seemed content in their company.

  In charging mode

The new arrival is called Elkerama  

Some of the orphans in the stockade with Elkerama  Elkerama and Kithaka

Elkerama being greeted by Kithaka

Milk times proved more challenging, because by this time he had developed an obsession with the white milk bottle. He would charge towards the Keeper and in some instances even knocked them down in an effort to gulp down his feed, so it was not long before a cunning tactic was deployed. There are a number of very strategic trees within the Nairobi Park forest that provide clever protection where the Keepers were able to feed Elkerama while remaining out of harms way protected by the trees lower branches.

Eating greens  Elkerama sniffing in greeting

Elkerama having milk with Sokotei nearby  Elkerama having milk

Hiding in the bushes  Out in the forest

Kauro and Elkerama

As the weeks past his condition improved, and his rough behaviour subsided after exposure to how the other orphan’s behaved. We are thrilled with Elkerama’s progress, and he is alive today thanks to the concern and constant feedback from Wendy Andrews who monitored him closely while he was on Elkarama Ranch and was committed to saving him. He is now surrounded by loving new elephant friends and dedicated Keepers, who will usher him through the early vulnerable years, and he will again be lucky enough to live a full and wild life.

Elkerama out with the rest of the orphans  Elkerama with Boromoko

Embu, Dupotto, Barsilinga and Elkerama  Elkerama in the browsing fields

Enkikwe and Elkerama  Sirimon behind Elkerama


Please see the resources above for more information on ELKERAMA

| View the Orphan History List Foster ELKERAMA | Print this Profile |

Share this:
Follow us:

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust   P.O. Box 15555 Nairobi Kenya

Copyright © 1999-2018, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy