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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 TOMBOI  Male  Tuesday, December 10, 2002 Samburu National Reserve  Days Old  Thought to be separated from family by stampede in Samburu National Reserve  Panic Separation or Stampede 

Latest Updates on TOMBOI:

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

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

6/11/2014 - Early in the morning, Loijuk, Makena, Buchuma, Chyulu, Kenze, Yatta, Sidai, Ithumbah, Kina, Wendi, Madiba, Lenana, Nasalot, Naserian, Challa, Rapsu, Orok, Meibai, Galana, Mulika, Mwende, Yetu, Tomboi, Sunyei, Kamboyo, Kilabasi, Zurura, Kandecha, Kilaguni, Chaimu, Olare, Suguta, Tumaren, Melia, Murka, Kibo, Kasigau and four wild elephants, were at the stockade. The orphans intermingled with the herd for around 20 minutes before leaving the stockade. Orwa enjoyed a good scratch on the nearby rocks and then Laragai led the way to the browsing field. At around 10 o’clock in the morning, the orphans dodged the keepers and disappeared. The keepers didn’t locate them again until 2 o’clock in the afternoon when they were found near the mud bath. In the evening the ex-orphans came at the stockade for water.

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

 Tomboi taking a walk in the Nairobi National Park Tomboi and Dr. Sheldrick playing
Tomboi taking a walk in the Nairobi National Park
photo taken on 3/15/2003
Tomboi and Dr. Sheldrick playing
photo taken on 12/26/2002

ORPHAN PROFILE FOR: TOMBOI (foster now)


On the morning of the 15th December, an alert came from Ian Craig of Lewa Downs that there was a one day orphan in Samburu National Reserve. Immediately a rescue was scrambled, the plane left, and when it was 15 minutes out of Nairobi, we received another phone call from Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save The Elephants Foundation to the effect that they would like to try and return the calf to its rightful owner - the mother. We recalled the plane and awaited news of the success or otherwise of this exercise, having warned Iain that although we had been successful returning a baby to its mother in Amboseli on two occasions, the lesson of little Seraa prompted caution with the Laikipia population, who have been subjected to a great deal of poaching and human harassment. Iain Craig had told us that gunshots had been heard in Samburu the previous night, and we suspected that this could have caused the calf to be either separated from the herd and abandoned, or orphaned.

Tomboi having a feed before takeoff


Tomboi is loaded into the Cessna 206  Tomboi is given his first drink of milk



At 4 p.m. another call from Samburu informed us that an attempt had been made to return the calf to his aunt, the mother not having been found, and known to have crossed the Uaso Nyiro river to join her sister and remaining family, her own mother having died some time ago. It was, apparently, the first calf of a very young mother, who estimated to be only about 10 years of age - another result of a population in disarray, deprived of a normal family structure where all the age groups are intact, and when a young cow would be protected from the advances of unruly young bulls by older dominant females.

Ready for takeoff




It was already very late to be able to make Samburu and back in daylight, but the plane left hurriedly, and we waited to see whether the pilot could make it before it became too dark to land at Wilson Airport. He managed, and little "Tomboi" arrived at our premises 8 .

Fuzzy little Tomboi  Tiny little Tomboi




Tomboi sleeps with his Keeper close at hand




We estimate the calf to be no more than 1 week old, if that. He has had his wound cleaned and treated, and has had the precautionary antibiotic to forestall diseases that manifest themselves as a result of trauma and shock. The next few days will tell whether or not he has benefited from his mother's Colostrum, and if he begins to fail, as did little "Wendi", then he will receive blood plasma to trigger his immune system, which is what saved her life and also that of "Imenti" who is now a young bull of eight, romping around in Tsavo.

Tomboi and Dr. Sheldrick playing  Tomboi is Thriving before Christmas 2002



He has a nasty gash in his cheek, which the Rangers thought might be as a result of an attack from a leopard before being rescued at 5.30 a.m. after he was heard screaming near the Ranger Quarters. However, upon closer inspection of the wound, it is obviously caused by a blunt object, and we suspect as a result of being tusked, probably when the herd panicked. His name is "Tomboi" which, in the Samburu dialect means "Boy without a Father". His mother's name is Temperome, his aunt known as Chastity and he apparently belongs to the family known as the Virtues.
(Endurume is his Virtue name).


We estimate the calf to be no more than 1 week old, if that. He has had his wound cleaned and treated, and has had the precautionary antibiotic to forestall diseases that manifest themselves as a result of trauma and shock. The next few days will tell whether or not he has benefited from his mother's Colostrum, and if he begins to fail, as did little "Wendi", then he will receive blood plasma to trigger his immune system, which is what saved her life and also that of "Imenti" who is now a young bull of eight, romping around in Tsavo.    

Please see the resources above for more information on TOMBOI

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