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)

4/13/2016 - Godoma can be another little greedy and pushy girl but this morning she was doing something different. Mbegu led her out this morning along with Ndotto and Murit to visit the little babies. Whilst with the little babies she was different from her usual character. She was friendly and gentle with the little ones, almost copying Mbeguís behaviour with them. She would allow the babies to take the greens she was chewing from her mouth and was not pushy like she normally is. The four only left the babies at 9am to go for their milk feed.

As the orphans left the milk feeding area they all went in different directions. Roi, Naseku, Murit and Ndotto decided to go in the same direction. Roi led the three to go and eat some wild fruits as in the morning there is always wild fruit on the ground that has fallen in the night probably from roosting birds. Roi knows where to find them so she took these three younger orphans to go and eat them. It is amazing to watch their little trunks picking the small fruits off the ground. This group only fed on the fruit the whole time, not browsing on the leaves around until they left for the public visiting time.

Today we had to perform a rescue. It was a really small baby girl under a month old which arrived at the nursery at around 10.30 in the morning. She is believed to have been rescued from a muddy well two days ago near Mpala Ranch in Laikipia. She had been rescued by the Mpala research staff and taken to their centre where she spent the night. She was fed on sugar water throughout the night until we came to rescue her in the morning. The baby is looking very weak with bruises on her body from her ordeal in the well. She seems to have strained her neck very badly and cannot see very well.

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. His protruding cheek bones were a tell tale sign of a baby in desperate need of nourishment, but he was a feisty little chap, and was able to shove the Keepers around in the stable on his first night. He settled in nicely with Thoma keeping a watchful eye over his every move.

Mpala his first day at the nursery  Mpala at the mud wallow in Tsavo

Mpala was eventually moved to the Voi Unit in Tsavo East with Seraa and Morani in June 2003, and now lives a wild life there.    

Please see the resources above for more information on MPALA

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