The following is information on the Elephant Orphan named: SIMOTUA 

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 SIMOTUA  Male  Friday, June 20, 2014 Rumuruti Forest  One year old  Found in the Rumuruti Forest in a weak condition with a snare wound on the leg and a spear wound to the head   Poaching 

Latest Updates on SIMOTUA:

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

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

3/17/2016 - When the orphans came out of their stockades in the early morning Oltaiyoni, Mbegu, Naseku, Sokotei, Roi and Siangiki spent a moment standing around outside poor Simotua’s stockade. Simotua saluted them with low rumbling sounds as he heard them all moving outside. Oltayoni rumbled to him but he was too tired to respond back, having had a very restless night. Oltaiyoni and company left after awhile after realizing that Simotua would not be joining them out this morning.

As the older group was being released by the keepers in the bush to run down and drink their milk during public visiting, Balguda, Boromoko, Siangiki, Kauro and Alamaya were the first to run down. Before reaching the open area where their milk bottles were waiting, Balguda and Bormoko, who do not usually run to get their milk, blocked their group from running past them. Alamaya, Kauro and Siangiki yelled out in protest, prompting the keepers to run up and caution the two older boys for their bad behaviour. Kauro, Alamaya and Siangiki then sped past them at top speed rumbling as they went, with neither one wanting to be the last to reach the milk bottles. This caused the school children to scream out at they saw the big elephants running towards them at a fast pace. The keepers assured the children they were quite safe and not in harm’s way, as the orphans are so social with people. The children calmed down and enjoyed watching how Kauro and Siangiki could feed themselves with their bottles.

It was a sad afternoon for us today as we lost poor ailing Simotua. His conditioned worsened some minutes before 4pm and despite all possible means to save his life they proved unsuccessful, and nature eventually took its course for little Simotua. He will be greatly missed by his human family and the other orphans as well.

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

 Simotua with a spear wound in his head The rescued calf the next day
Simotua with a spear wound in his head
photo taken on 6/25/2015
The rescued calf the next day
photo taken on 6/24/2015


On the 22nd of June we received a report from Caroline and Andrew Mules regarding an injured elephant calf, clearly an orphan judging by his thin body condition and his horrendous injuries. He had a spear wound in his head, piecing right through into the honey comb of his forehead, and a snare wound on his leg, not dissimilar to Mwashoti’s injury.

The calf was in the Rumuruti Forest and was first sighted through the electric fence from Simba Farm. Because of the late hour nothing could be done that day, but on the 23rd KWS were called to the site. Rumuruti Forest is a protected forest in Laikipia West district approximately 15,000 acres, but surrounded by small holdings and farms. The wildlife within this remnant forest is increasingly threatened due to human wildlife conflict. Portions of the forest are fenced, with plans to fence the entire forest in the future.

Preparing to leave for the rescue  En route to Rumuruti

  The rescue team on the ground

  Preparing to put the calf on the tarpauline

The captured orphaned calf  The snare is removed

Angela Sheldrick from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was called and immediately a rescue was mobilized and the DSWT rescue team landed at 2.20pm on Simba Farm. The farm management could not have been more helpful, cutting their fence in order for the land cruiser and rescue teams to have easy access to where the young orphan was, and laying on both man power and vehicles to assist.

At the airstrip  Arrival at Wilson

Together with KWS the DSWT team tracked the calf a short distance before they sighted him and were able to capture the one year old without too much resistance. He had not managed to walk too far from where he was sighted the previous day, and he was unable to put up too much of a struggle due to his compromised leg and weakened state. He was laid on a mattress with a blanket covering his eyes while his legs were strapped. Without delay the calf was loaded onto the back of a land cruiser and driven to the airstrip, which was thankfully close by.

Arrival at the Nursery  The calf is placed in the stockade

In the stockade after arrival  

Applying green clay to the wound

The DSWT/KWS Mobile Veterinary Unit had by this stage just arrived having been called to site from Olpejeta where they had been treating another case. The KWS veterinarian Dr. Rono seconded to the DSWT funded team was able too assess the calf’s injuries at the airstrip before takeoff. The baby was given a tranquilizer to manage his stress levels and placed on an intravenous drip for the duration of the one-hour flight back to Nairobi with an elephant Keeper sat by his side comforting him.

He finally arrived at 6.00pm at the Nairobi Nursery and his wounds were cleaned and treated, packed with green clay, and antibiotics administered. While he was still prone the Keepers lifted his head so that he might get the taste of milk. Amazingly he fed well on a bottle of milk, suckling beautifully before being helped to his feet. Once up everybody had to make a hasty retreat over the stockade walls as he charged around clearly extremely confused by events. There were rumbles of communication from the next-door stockades with both Elkerama (recently rescued) and Arruba his immediate neighbors extremely interested in the new arrival. He knew then he was amongst his own kind, which was reassuring for him.

A close up of his wound

Simotua with a spear wound in his head  We called him Simotua

A tragic little calf, frightened and terribly injured

As the days have passed this brave but tragic little figure has fought to live and we are happy to report his wounds are healing beautifully. He remains in the stockades while we wait for his leg wound to improve, but we are confident that despite the odds and with intensive treatment and care, this lovely little boy who has been dealt such a cruel start to life, will indeed have a second chance - in no small part due to his fierce driving will to live.    

Please see the resources above for more information on SIMOTUA

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