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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 AMBO  Male  January 2016 Amboseli Environs  4 months  Discovered by a Community member stuck in mud - reported to Big Life Foundation  Stuck in Mud 

Latest Updates on AMBO:

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

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

5/27/2018 - Musiara still loves his friend Luggard and dotes on him. Every morning when he comes out of his room, he will never leave until Luggard comes out of his door as well. This morning Musiara came out of his room somewhat earlier than usual and before most of his friends including Luggard. He then proceeded to push Luggardís door a few times in vain, wanting him to come out and join him too. When this failed he ended up just hanging around Luggardís stable waiting for him. The keepers nor any of the others orphans could convince him to follow them when it was time to go into the forest. When Luggard eventually came out, they embraced trunks and slowly walked out to meet the others who were already in the forest.
Ambo is turning into a little boy who loves to play, even more than Malima within the young group. Malima has always been known to be a playful girl, one never to sit idle but at least start a pushing game with someone whenever she can. Ambo has been very active and playful today, wanting to play with everyone in the group. He started by inviting the little naughty girl Kiasa to a pushing game, but Tamiyoi wasnít very pleased about that and went over to separate them so she could take him on. From a distance Malima saw Tamiyoi playing with Ambo and she then came over to push Tamiyoi away. But Ambo had chosen to play with Tamiyoi, so Malima was driven away. The game became bigger however when Jotto and Malima decided to force their way in to the game with the other two! The keepers just had to keep extra eyes on them to make sure they didnít hurt any of the little ones.

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


photo taken on 6/9/2016

photo taken on 6/9/2016


On the evening of the 24th of April Angela Sheldrick was contacted by Craig Miller from Big Life regarding an orphaned elephant who had been located stuck in a waterhole in Amboseli.

He was first discovered by a community member who happened to have a relative working as a sergeant within the Big Life Ranger force; he contacted Big Life alerting them of this babyís fate in the hope that he could be saved. This all took place at 5.00pm in the afternoon and how long he had been stricken in the mud was not clear, but later information suggested as long as 48 hours. Big Life ops room immediately deployed two vehicles to the scene, with the plan of assisting the calf out of the mud in the hope the mother would return later, but when the two ranger teams arrived the calf had freed itself and was wandering alone.

Ambo at the airstrip  Ambo waiting rescue in the landcruiser

It was now 7pm and getting darker by the minute so the teams quickly started to track the calf. By 8pm they had lost the tracks as the mud covering the calf had started to dry up and stopped leaving an easy to follow trail. So the two teams decided to split up and search in two extended lines in the two directions they thought the calf had most likely headed. At around 9pm one team picked the calf up in the cars headlights, he was younger than originally thought and there was little chance he would have the energy and knowledge needed to find his mum which would also depend on the mother returning. The team watched him for another hour and then made the decision to catch him and keep him overnight for the DSWT to collect the next morning. Arrangements were made for a room to be made available and the ranger whose brother reported the calf in the first place stayed with him all night in Ol Tokai. Even though he was a big calf in good condition he appeared very weak, and not particularly strong having been without milk and water for a very long time.


Craig Millar of Big Life arrived early in the morning and together with Ol Tokai staff, Katito from ATE and the Big Life rangers the calf was transferred to the airstrip. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was able to mobilize a rescue very early on the morning of the 25th of April and despite driving rain in Nairobi the rescue team were able to land in Amboseli by 9.15am. The calf was estimated to be approximately four months old. On arrival at the Amboseli airfield our Keepers were greeted by the Big Life team who had looked after their little elephant charge overnight. He was given milk which he took earnestly and was then prepared for the flight back to Nairobi.

Receiving milk at the airstrip  

He was placed on a saline drip while the plane waited on the ground in Amboseli, avoiding zero visibility conditions in Nairobi as the rain continued to bucket down.

Preparing for the flight  Ready to be transported

Eventually, with a small window in the weather, the rescue team took off and timed it to perfection, arriving in Nairobi while there was some respite from the wet and sodden conditions. The baby was off-loaded from the plane, loaded into the back of the covered DSWT pickup and driven to the Nairobi Nursery, a journey of approximately 20 minutes, and where upon arrival he was placed in a dry and warm stable.

Following the keeper to the rescue plane  Ambo receives a drip on the plane

It was clear the little bull calf was simply exhausted by this time, as he swayed on his feet fighting fatigue. Eventually he was calm enough to lie on the soft hay and have a well-deserved sleep with a loving Keeper for company making sure the drip kept him hydrated while he slept. His stable was positioned between two other orphans both who have recently arrived in our care, and having the quiet presence from these other babies was helpful indeed as he settled and fed and slept throughout his first night, with a confidence that he was amidst other elephants.


We have called this little bull Ambo after the location where he was found. As the days progressed Ambo has thrived thankfully, and has settled into the routine here at the Nursery. He is full of character, loving both his Keepers and the other orphaned elephants.

Ambo scratching on a tree  


Please see the resources above for more information on AMBO

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