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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 MPALA  Male  December 2001 Mpala ranch Laikipia  6 Months old  Mother was poached on Mpala ranch, he was found two weeks later.  Poaching 

Latest Updates on MPALA:

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

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

11/30/2012 - At 9 a.m. Emily’s and Edie’s Ex Orphan group came to the Stockades to drink, but did not stay long, heading out to search for the Youngsters. They first went to the Middle Waterhole, where they did not find them, but detected their presence when the Youngsters accessed the Big Waterhole. The Ex Orphans hurried there and plunged in without hesitation, which at first scared the Youngsters who began to exit the waterhole, until they realized that it was Emily’s Unit, when they returned to join them. Icholta enjoyed playing with Taveta while Edie engaged Mzima in a wrestling match, after which Mzima took on Mpala and Seraa. Mzima remained with the Ex Orphans for a long time before joining his colleagues as they made their way back in the evening. It was a very Happy Ending to the month.

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

 Mpala at the mud wallow in Tsavo Mpala having a noon dust bath
Mpala at the mud wallow in Tsavo
photo taken on 7/5/2003
Mpala having a noon dust bath
photo taken on 1/2/2003


Ranch workers on Mpala Ranch, a 54,000 acre Ranch on the Laikipia Plateau, stumbled on a decomposing body of a female elephant, the tusks intact, but what they did not know, was that somewhere in the arid scrub bush that dominates the vegetation of the Ranch, was her 6 month old orphaned calf, grieving and lonely, who faced certain death from starvation without having access to milk. (No elephant less than 2 years of age can survive without milk).

On the morning of 31st May 2002, this orphaned baby elephant came voluntarily to the Nepeleon Cattle enclosure in the North of the Ranch, close the Narok river, some two weeks after the death of his mother. He trailed the cattle herder, desperate for companionship and company, emaciated and growing weaker by the day. Although at 6 months he could eat a little vegetation, he needed milk in order to survive, and perhaps it was the smell of milk that had attracted him to this place and that man. However, it was not the cattle that he followed, it was the herdsmen himself, and this in itself is strange, since he must know that humans had cost his mother her life.

Mpala's dead mother found 2 weeks before he was found  Mpala is captured

At first the Herdsman found this somewhat disconcerting, fearing that an irate elephant mother might suddenly appear at any moment to reclaim her baby. He did everything he could to deter the calf, but the calf persisted in trailing him. Eventually, in desperation, he reported the matter to his boss, Ken Wreford Smith, who immediately called us in Nairobi, and alerted us to expect another elephant orphan.

He is temporarily housed in a cattle boma before comming to the Trust

Mpala arrives at the nursery after five hours on the road

After a long five hour drive, in the back of a Pickup truck hurriedly improvised to contain him for the journey, with Quentin, a young Veterinarian, as company in the back, they arrived at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust at 7.30 pm. Although his protruding cheek bones are a tell tale sign of a baby in desperate need of nourishment, he is a feisty little chap, and was able to shove the Keepers around in the stable on his first night. He seems to have settled in nicely with Thoma keeping a watchful eye over his every move.

Mpala his first day at the nursery


Please see the resources above for more information on MPALA

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