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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 THOMA  Female  June 2001 Thomson's Falls  2 Months Old  Thoma's herd were crop raiding, and when they were chased off the 'shambas' this little calf was left behind in the chaos.  Problem Animal Control 

Latest Updates on THOMA:

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

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

11/13/2017 - This morning the stockade dependant orphan elephants rushed out of their stockades eager for their milk bottle after which they enjoyed feeding on supplements before leaving for the browsing grounds. Embu, Bada and Mudanda went high up Msinga Hill to browse. Mudanda and Bada came down for their afternoon milk bottle, while Embu remained at the top browsing away.

At 7.30 in the morning another Ex Orphan herd that had missed the standard gauge railway corridor followed the same path as Emily’s herd and arrived at the Voi gate where they waited for assistance to get back into the park. The group consisted of Icholta and her baby Inca, Thoma and her calf Thor, Seraa, Wasessa, Rombo and Mzima. Once back in the park they went straight to the stockades where they had a quick drink before heading off again.

In the evening, the male orphan eland Tawi took Kore and Ngulia to the wild. Efforts were made to get the three to return back to the stockade which Kore and Ngulia did. Tawi, however, ran off and remained in the park to live a wild life.

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

 Thoma at the Tsavo mud wallow Thoma sucking her keepers finger
Thoma at the Tsavo mud wallow
photo taken on 3/28/2003
Thoma sucking her keepers finger
photo taken on 3/27/2002


On Saturday 11th August, 2001, news came of another tiny orphan from a Refugee population of Laikipia Elephants sheltering in a tiny remnant Forest near a place called Nyahururu, which, in Colonial times was known as "Thomson's Falls", hence the name Thoma. This calf was apparently in the process of being transported by road to Mweiga Airfield, a distance of some 80 miles. We were prepared for another difficult customer, since the Refugee elephants, completely surrounded by human settlement, lead a life of trauma and terror at the hands of humans. Every time they step beyond the sanctity of their forest shelter, they are in trouble, and consequently they tend to have adopted a nocturnal feeding pattern, emerging only under cover of darkness to find whatever they can beyond the forest.



  Thoma's rescue

Thoma with a protective Mulika  Thoma with Mulika

The Trust chartered the usual plane, kindly always given at cost by Mike Seton of East African Air Charters. Our rescue team arrived at Mweiga to find a tiny calf laying comatose and almost dead in a small Lion Cage, barely even breathing and we estimated her age to be approximately 2 months which means she was born in June 2001. We doubted that she would even be able to make the journey back, but she did, reviving after managing to swallow a little rehyration salts. Closer inspection revealed multiple puncture wounds on her hindquarters, possibly from thrashing around in the cage, or from a barbed wire enclosure when she was confined at the Nyahururu Police Station. She was severely traumatised to the point of being nearly demented both from pain and fear.

Thoma nudging Solango (Thoma standing)

Julius feeding thoma

For an entire week little "Thoma" was inconsolable, restlessly pacing the stable, fearful of both the other elephants and the Keepers. For an entire week she never slept, and nor did the poor Keepers! But, she fed well from the start, and we were spared the usual diarrhoea. Injectable antibiotic in conjunction with hot towels gently laid against her buttocks gradually cured the sepsis from the puncture wounds; massive doses of silver taken with her milk also worked its usual magic, homeopathic "Arnica" and "Camomile" helped calm her, and then finally, "Thoma" slept! Reversing the sleeping pattern of nocturnal refugee elephants is always difficult, something we had experienced with Nasalot too.

Mulika adored her, Sweet Sally and Mweya were curious to start but more interested in each other, and Nasalot was busy mothering Mweya, who was probably handful enough! Little "Thoma" settled down well and soon became happy and playful, and finally seemed totally at peace with her new environment.    

Please see the resources above for more information on THOMA

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