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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 ESAMPU  Female  February 2016 Narraengolo area within the Chyulu / Amboseli ecosystem  5 months  Found emaciated, on her own, with no evidence of any elephants in the area  Reason Unknown 

Latest Updates on ESAMPU:

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

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

10/30/2018 - This morning we found Sapalan was quite unwell and had to be assisted to get up. Shortly later, he collapsed again and had no strength to stand by himself. This was very strange and had all the Keepers worried. A quick decision was made after conferring with Angela Sheldrick, and he was put to a drip to help stimulate his energy levels. Forty five minutes later, the drip proved helpful and Sapalan was helped back to his feet and he started feeding on greens and pellets.

The orphans settled to browse in the Kone area, where some of them could not understand why Sapalan was not with them. Enkikwe visited Sapalan when he was put on a drip and kept him company. Most of the time, Sapalan and Enkikwe lag behind the others and walk together, as they are both slow walkers these days.

At mud bath time, Esampu made sure that she was at the front of the line to run for the milk bottles, to avoid a scenario like yesterday of being pulled back by her seniors. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse and Karisa and Rapa gave the Keepers a hard time when they conspired to dodge them and run off without the Keeper’s knowing. The rest of their friends returned back to the stockade at the usual time with Karisa and Rapa still at large. A spirited effort from the Keepers bore fruit and they managed to smoke them out their hiding place. It was a happy ending as the two orphans were found and Sapalan was still in okay condition having spent the day in the stockade compound.

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

 Esmapu coming back to the stockades Esampu playing
Esmapu coming back to the stockades
photo taken on 8/23/2016
Esampu playing
photo taken on 8/19/2016


On the 6th of July Angela was contacted by Richard Bonham of Big Life regarding reports from the Narraengolo within the Chyulu / Amboseli ecosystem of an abandoned orphaned elephant. A Big Life Ranger who was off duty later confirmed the community report to Craig Miller also of Big life, who dispatched scouts to the area where she was last sighted. They found a very young emaciated calf with little evidence of any other elephants in the area. To this day the reasons for her abandonment remain unclear.

In consultation with the Kenya Wildlife Service, and due to the young age of the calf, Big Life made the decision to rescue the orphan, and coordinated with Angela the rescue collection from the Mbirikani airstrip on the plains below the Chyulu Hills, the closest airstrip from her rescue site. This area falls within Masai Community group ranches which form the corridor between Amboseli National Park and the Chyulu Hills National Park. Thankfully community conservation efforts have been embraced within this area, and generally speaking wildlife is able to cohabit peacefully with the pastoral people. However from time to time there is human wildlife conflict and retribution spearing of elephants can happen in these instances.

The rescue plane  The orphan in the back of the rescue vehicle

The rescued orphan  The rescuers and keepers with the orphan

The orphan gets some milk at the airstrip  The rescued orphan in the shade

The DSWT rescue team landed at the Chyulu Hills to find a very young baby of approximately five months who had obviously been without her mother for a good number of days before being discovered given her poor body condition. She was extremely dehydrated so was offered milk and rehydration fluids, before the attentive team, and by now a number of interested community members, went about preparing her for the flight back to Nairobi; laying her on the rescue mattress on the canvas stretcher, her legs fastened with straps and her body covered with a blanket. Once loaded into the aircraft she was immediately placed on a life-saving drip for the duration of the flight of 45 minutes.

Preparing the calf for the flight  The orphan is loaded in the plane

The orphan in the stockade on arrival  Esampu in her stockade a few days after arrival

Esampu getting greens from Mishack

On arrival at the Nursery she was guided into a warm stable next to Ambo, another baby elephant rescued from the Amboseli region area. With comfort from a Keeper, soft hay and a hanging blanket she immediately settled and began to feed on the plentiful greens that were cut for her, which was surprising for one so young, but clearly during her ordeal she had survived alone by eating vegetation. She was exhausted and very quickly lay down on the soft hay and fell into a deep sleep, comforted by the presence of the other elephants around her as by now the Nursery orphans had returned to their night stables. We called her Esampu, a Maa name for light and shade and also the name of the area she was rescued from. The reasons for Esampu losing her family remains unclear, but it is possible it is as a result of Human Wildlife Conflict in the area.

Esampu in the bush with the other orphans  Esampu out in the bush

Esampu, Luggard and Pare  Esampu having milk

We managed to stabilise her condition and stomach during the early days in the Nursery and once her strength improved she was able to join the baby herd out in the forest, along with new best friends Tamiyoi and Pare. Esampu has been a revelation, with her happy disposition she has settled fast, and has fed well both on milk and greens, and as a result her condition has improved extremely quickly. She loves the company of the other elephants, and relishes playing with her new human family too.

Esampu playing  Esampu

Esmapu coming back to the stockades  Esampu having milk

Esampu dust bathing  Esampu having milk with Pare and Kiko nearby


Please see the resources above for more information on ESAMPU

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