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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 EMOLI  Male  Saturday, November 5, 2016 Kanderi area of the Voi River Circuit in Tsavo East National Park  10 months old  Found collapsed and barely breathing by tourists on a game drive in Kanderi  Drought Related 

Latest Updates on EMOLI:

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

1/25/2019 - As the days pass, Kiasaís size and body strength are also growing, and so is her streak of naughtiness. She has passed her age-mates in size and her playmates are not keen to play with her as she has a rather cheeky character. These days she has found new playmates who are slightly older than her, being primarily Malima and Emoli. Today during the 9am milk feed, Malima had a very hard time trying to defend her milk bottles from Kiasa who was determined to have more than her share. Despite her bigger size and being able to stand her own, Malima was having trouble with the sassy little girl from Tsavo. As the feeding went on, our attentions turned to Dololo who was really enjoying his milk bottle. He was drinking it in style and even raising his front feet. When the bottle was finished he continued to suckle on it to make sure there were no drops left. As the Keeper removed the teat from his mouth he complained and yelled bitterly, as though to say he was not done yet!

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

 Emoli, Maisha and Godoma Emoli with Maisha
Emoli, Maisha and Godoma
photo taken on 10/10/2017
Emoli with Maisha
photo taken on 10/10/2017


On the 23rd of August visitors to Tsavo East came across a calf collapsed and barely breathing along the Voi river circuit. The drought in the southern sector of Tsavo has really hit wildlife hard, particularly the elephants that have remained in that area, with many Mumsí and their calves succumbing to the dry conditions, because while water remains itís the scarcity of food that is the challenge. Sadly the mothers with young calves have been unable to travel the distances required to find better browse, so choose to remain anchored close to water points, and because of this they are more often than not the first casualties of such brutal droughts. This area of Tsavo is experiencing one of the worst in many decades, with poor rains for two years in a row, so in the recent months we have experienced as many as 100 elephants dying from this 2017 drought in the southern area of Tsavo, and sadly numerous calves, found too late to save.

The DSWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit were immediately alerted and rushed to the scene. Thankfully such prompt response managed to ensure the calf was placed on an IV drip while the DSWT helicopter was mobilized to fly directly to Voi from the Trustís Kaluku field headquarters in order to transport the calf directly to the Nairobi Nursery saving precious time. It was this rapid response that ultimately saved this little calfís life, because in cases of drought and starvation, every hour counts.

The calf found in a state of collapse  The collapsed calf being rescued

The calf is treated by the vet at the airstrip  The calf in the back of the pickup

Once our ground teams arrived at the site where he lay unresponsive but for a tiny whiff of breath coming from his trunk, and a light pulse, they set about trying to stabilize him, keeping his body covered from the unforgiving sun while IV drips were placed into his vein. His blood pressure was nonexistent making even locating a vein challenging. All the while that was happening the helicopter was being prepared at Kaluku HQ, with the seats removed and all the rescue equipment loaded before takeoff for Voi, a 35 minute flight from Kaluku. By the time the ground teams had stabilized the baby, loaded him and travelled to the Voi airstrip there was little delay before the helicopter was in place on the Voi airstrip. The team then set about loading him into the helicopter carefully, strapping his legs to ensure that should he stir during the flight he could not interfere with the controls. Once everybody felt confident he was comfortable, and secured well with everything in place, the aerial team of two lifted off for Nairobi, a journey that takes 1 Ĺ hours in a helicopter. Given how weak he was there was very little reaction to the flight, and after landing as the Nairobi keepers off loaded him there was some response.

Offloading the calf at the airstrip  Preparing to load the calf into the helicopter

At the Voi Airstrip  Ready for the flight to Nairobi

The vet checks on the calf in the helicopter  Securely strapped in the helicopter

On arrival in Nairobi  The helicopter and its precious cargo arrive in Nairobi

Clearly he was going to be a very challenging case for all concerned, but there were now more hopeful signs. He was transported to Malimaís old stable and Malima was moved into a bigger stable next to Ambo, and within the comforts of the stableís soft hay the Keepers untied his legs and helped him to his feet. Eventually we were able to lift his limp trunk enough to place water from a bucket into his mouth, and he even began to chew on the freshly cut greens hung in his stable, and sucked on a welcomed bottle of milk. With these starvation cases milk needs to be introduced slowly as they simply do not have the reserves to handle any stomach upset issues.

The calf in the pickup once offloaded  Arriving at the Nursery

In the stockade  The calf was very emaciated

The calf is placed in the stockade  Getting attention from a keeper following rescue

The calf on his feet  Getting some rehydration fluid

We named this little calf Emoli which means elephant in the Waliangulu tribal language, a tribe whose heritage has been interwoven with elephants throughout history. As the days passed we grew more hopeful of Emoliís chances, but there were still many bouts of collapsing throughout the next eleven days that had us all scurrying to retrieve him once more, but slowly in time this emaciated calf grew stronger. He remained close to home without the strength to join the others out in the Park during the day, and very quickly became absolutely hooked on his Keepers, trailing them everywhere around the compound, longing for a finger to suck. He joined our baby herd and would accompany the little elephants along with Luggard for private mud bath sessions. In his case the Keepers would do the dust bathing for him, and douse him in welcomed soothing mud simply because even these tasks proved too difficult for him to do in the beginning. Every time he lay down he would have to be assisted to his feet, lacking the strength to do this simple task unaided. Thankfully, Emoli had a healthy appetite and we have been able to watch with great pride as his body condition has improved, and he has overcome small milestones, now able to wallow himself, and get to his feet unaided, and join the other Nursery orphans with the strength to travel further afield. A week after Emoli was saved another drought victim came into our care, this time a little girl, and these two have become inseparable and have helped heal each other.

The calf on its feet after arrival  Emoli having a drink of water

The calf is called Emoli  Sweet Emoli

Emoli the day after rescue

Saving Emoli has been incredibly satisfying for everyone involved, discovering his gentle warm nature since it has been able to emerge and blossom once more from beneath the skin and bones that we were presented with two months ago. Watching his recovery and genuine happiness as he finds the strength to savour life is so gratifying, retrieved literally from his last dying breaths.

Emoli about a month after rescue  Emoli in the bush

Sweet little Emoli

We estimate Emoli to be approximately one year old. The fate of his mother remains unknown, but we think she was forced to abandon her collapsed calf, suspecting his life had ebbed away beyond all hope.

Emoli with Maisha  Emoli, Maisha and Godoma

Emoli amongst the other Nursery babies


Please see the resources above for more information on EMOLI

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