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)

8/28/2018 - Soon after leaving the night stockade, Karisa and Namalok walked straight down to the water trough and joined a lone wild bull that was relaxing there while drinking water. Esampu settled for a scratching exercise as Tusuja settled for light friendly pushing game with Galla. Galla turned to Namalok soon after finishing his game with Tusuja, and exchanged morning greetings by entwining their trunks. The no-nonsense Laragai came in between Namalok and Galla to separate them, but she could not stop their game as they just started up their game again as soon as Laragai moved away. Following the dry weather recently, Rapa didnít want to go home without enough food, and went down on his knees to cut and pull up any shrubs that seemed fit to fill his stomach.

At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by two wild teenagers, who for some time tried to deny them access to the water. The Keepers intervened and as soon as the orphans had enough water, the teenagers came back threatening to push the orphans. The dependent orphans left to go out and browse again, leaving the teenagers to do as they wished. In the evening, Sapalan decided to enjoy a lengthy soil dusting session.

Very sadly, some Keepers stumbled across an elephant carcass near the upper Kalovoto area. The ivory had been removed. This is a clear warning that the poaching remains a threat still in Kenya and how important the anti poaching teams are. The teams have made significant arrests this month with a number of poachers apprehended, and a third DSWT/KWS Anti-Poaching team was brought into the area to help patrol as the dry season kicks in and large herds of elephants congregate around limited water sources. The elephant victim was a wild young bull.

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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