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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 RAPA  Male  Thursday, January 15, 2015 Kisima Hamsini - Sera Conservancy  5-6 months old  Found fallen down a well in the Kisima Hamsini Area  Well Victim 

Latest Updates on RAPA:

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

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

7/30/2018 - Olareís group in the company of two junior wild elephants were present outside the stockade when the orphans were let out. Murka lay down to attract the young babies to come and play on her, but they didnít want to. Nine year old Kibo however saw a good opportunity to come and climb on her back! Rapa, Galla and Karisa walked down to the water trough to join a fifteen year old wild bull. The three dependent orphans stood there obviously admiring the boy, wishing they were his size to be able to defend themselves from their older friends. It wasn't clear what advice the teenager gave to the boys but we are sure he communicated something to them. Half an hour later, Olare escorted the juniors out to browse where Naisula played with Tumaren and Chemi Chemi tackled Kitirua. Enkikwe settled to browse with his friends Olsekki and Siangiki who are so good at taking care of him. Siangiki developed an itchy ear and used a nearby tree to scratch it. An hour later, Wanjala had the same problem and instead of scratching against a tree, he broke a piece of branch and used that to scratch with.

At mud bath, Sapalan used the smaller mud bath unlike the rest of his friends who walked to use the large one. As Sapalan was busy splashing water behind his ears, a warthog emerged from the bush and joined him to mud bath. At first, Sapalan wasn't sure how to react, but opened his ears out just in case as a warning to the warthog. This didnít seem to faze the pig however, who carried on with its bathing. Sapalan had no option other than to let the warthog carry on since he certainly didnít feel like chasing it, he is a very slow boy. Mundusi, who has watched and learnt how to climb on his age-mates from the older graduate orphans, decided to climb on Mteto in the water. Galla rode on Roi while Tusuja rode on Maramoja. All the naughty orphans take great delight on doing this in the water when it is a) easier to climb on their friends and b) when their friends canít retaliate! Later Tusuja engaged Olsekki in a strength testing exercise that went on for quite some time.

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

 Rapa, Suswa and Dupotto Rapa in a playful mood
Rapa, Suswa and Dupotto
photo taken on 7/22/2015
Rapa in a playful mood
photo taken on 7/14/2015

ORPHAN PROFILE FOR: RAPA (foster now)


On the 1st of July Lewa relayed a report to DSWT from Sera Conservancy that Samburu Scouts had retrieved a young calf from one of the many wells in that area, Kisima Hamsini. The baby elephant had slipped in while the herd crowded around to drink water. Because of the presence of the pastoral people in the area the elephants do not linger long, and tend to drink here at night often while passing through to more fertile pastures.



By morning any evidence of elephants had vanished, only the screams of the desperate baby alerted the community. Due to sensitisation throughout the region these orphans are often reported and timely solutions sought for them. The community conservation scouts extracted the calf and he was kept safe until the DSWT could send a rescue plane to fly him to the Nursery. This is a hot and arid part of the country and extremely dry at this time of year, human wildlife conflict incidences increase as both man and the elephants struggle to share the same water resources.

Rescue team and orphan at the airstrip  The rescue plane

Peter greets the new orphan  Tasting the milk

Taking milk  The calf is offloaded

Restraining the calf  The calf being restrained

The flight to northern Kenya past Mount Kenya and beyond Samburu to Sera conservancy is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The airstrip is short and fairly crude which makes rescues from here challenging. The calf had been driven in the back of a land cruiser to wait at the airfield shaded from the unforgiving sun while the scouts awaited the plane and keepers. He was a big, robust calf full of fight, but with bruises from his ordeal and very infected eyes as a result of his struggle in the putrid water while trapped in the well. Thankfully because the calf was small only about five to six months old, the weight was well within the limitations for a Cessna Caravan for a short takeoff as the team departed with the calf safely strapped in the back and an IV drip in place to compensate for the time he had been without motherís milk.

Sera Wildlife Conservancy Ranger  Preparing to load the calf onto the plane

All of the rescuers  Strapping the calf in for the flight

On arrival in Nairobi he was loaded onto the waiting pickup with all the crew at Wilson Airport now extremely comfortable wrangling elephant orphans having dealt with many before. Even the Police who man the airportís entrance gate curiously seek the details of each and every case as the DSWT exit the airport perimeter for the short journey to the Nairobi National Park, and DSWT Nursery orphanage.

The calf is offloaded at Wilson  The pickup and calf arrive at the Nursery

The calf in the stockade  The calf is called Rapa

The exhausted calf resting  Some of the injuries the calf sustained in the well

In the shade  Enjoying greens

A very feisty baby was off loaded and placed in a stockade, too stressed for a stable, and while he looked like the perfect little grey fat-cheeked Dumbo he packed a punch. It took two intensive days in order to settle him down.

Rapa munching a twig  The day after rescue

Sucking Peter's finger  Enjoying some milk

We called him Rapa after a hill in the area from where he was rescued. In time he calmed sufficiently and was able to join the established orphans for their daily outing in the forest. He has assimilated well and the calming care of the others has turned him into a happy member of the nursery herd.

Out with the other orphans  Rapa joins the others in the bush

In the middle of the group  Rapa sucking his trunk

Rapa and Tusuja  Mbegu and Rapa

Rapa in a playful mood  Rapa, Suswa and Dupotto

Rapa

   

Please see the resources above for more information on RAPA

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