The following is information on the Elephant Orphan named: SELENGAI 

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 SELENGAI  Female  Saturday, March 15, 2003 Sosian Ranch Laikipia  1 Week old  Found wondering alone on one of the ranch tracks, fate of mother is unknown  Natural Causes 

Latest Updates on SELENGAI:

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

8/13/2013 - Yatta’s and Mulika’s group of Ex Orphans came to the Stockades early before dawn, having been absent for almost 3 days. All were extremely hollow, stressed and thirsty, obviously having been without water for so long. It was noticed that Galana had an arrow wound on the left side of her stomach - the third Ex Orphan to be recently arrowed by Poachers, Mulika and Challa having been hit last month. Last year we lost Ex Orphan Selengai to Poachers, who never managed to make it back to the stockades in time for help. All these young elephants have only very small ivory so it is only a heartless and wicked human who could even think of trying to kill them, probably simply out of spire. May the curse of these innocents follow the perpetrators of this heinous crime to the bitter end!

At 11 a.m. the KWS Vet attached to our Mobile Unit arrived and to remove the arrow from Galana’s side and treat the wound, after which he immobilized Mulika in order to lance the swelling beneath her stomach. Gallons of pus poured out and a large piece of dead flesh removed, after which the wound was washed and packed with green clay. Whilst the Vet was attending Mulika, all the other female Ex Orphan were extremely concerned wanting to come and lift her back to her feet, but the Keepers kept them at bay. Instead they obeyed the command of their Keepers, milling around nearby, while Yatta escorted little Mwende away from her recumbent mother. Once Mulika was up again, she was warmly embraced by all the others, who left with her in their midst.

Now it was the turn of the Big Bull “Mshale” who had been at the mudbath earlier with a suspicious looking fresh wound behind the ear. Having been darted, he ran off some distance before falling near the road leading to the Ithumba Camp, where he, too, was treated and revived, the arrow having apparently bounced off rather than penetrating the flesh. (This was the third time that “Mshale” had been immobilized to have poisoned arrows removed from his body. That evening none of the Ex Orphans returned to the Stockades and no wild elephants came either.

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

 Selengai following her companion on Sosian Ranch airstrip up to the plane Selengai is transported from Wilson airport in the back of a pickup to the Nairobi Nursery
Selengai following her companion on Sosian Ranch airstrip up to the plane
photo taken on 3/21/2003
Selengai is transported from Wilson airport in the back of a pickup to the Nairobi Nursery
photo taken on 3/21/2003


On the 21st March 2003, we welcomed another tiny orphaned elephant into the Nursery, again from Sosian Ranch in Laikipia, the same privately owned Ranch that yielded the two year old orphan called "Sosian", who is now romping around in Tsavo along with his friends, in the process of gradually being able to take his rightful place within the wild elephant herds in a Park safeguarded in perpetuity by law. The latest tiny newcomer from Sosian Ranch was, as usual, airlifted to Nairobi by East African Air Charters, attended by a K.W.S. Veterinarian and two of our Staff members. Because she was so young with no fear of humans, she was able to avoid the risk of having to be sedated for the journey.

Selengai following her companion on Sosian Ranch airstrip up to the plane  She waits by the plane while everything is prepared for her flight to the Nairobi Nursery

At the suggestion of the Ranch Owner, we have called this tiny female elephant"Selengai", which mean beautiful girl in Samburu. We estimate her age to be between l and 2 weeks old, for the hind side of the ears are still the telling petal pink, the umbilicus not entirely dry. As soon as the ears turn dark behind, (usually between 3 and 6 weeks), we will be able to have a more accurate assessment of her exact age, because elephant babies come in big and small parcels, just like humans and size is never a good indicator.

She snuggles close for comfort

Selengai lies down in the plane and makes the journey with no sedation

Apparently, this baby was found just wandering alone on one of the ranch tracks, suggesting that the mother has either perished, or the calf became separated during a stampede. Although the ranch owner assures us that there is no poaching on his land, elephants cross boundaries, swallowing the miles in enormous strides that cover huge distances, (as we know from the experience of Imenti), so what happens beyond small safe havens has a bearing on behaviour. There can be no denying that the Laikipia population of elephants have, and do, suffer intense harassment as a result of poaching for ivory and also as a result of human elephant conflict in cultivation that has cut their ancient migration routes, so little Selengai is obviously the product of this. Furthermore, many elephant mothers of today are very young and inexperienced, giving birth at an age when still little more than children, as the experience of Malaika taught us. This, too, is a result of disruption of the natural family structure through poaching and the absence of older relatives that would normally keep over exuberant young and often badly behaved bulls in line.

Selengai is transported from Wilson airport in the back of a pickup to the Nairobi Nursery

Immediately on arrival, little Selengai settled in, drinking copious quantities of rehydration and during the course of the night downing 15 pints of SMA Goldcap milk, which is not a bad start, although 18 would have been better. She was exhausted and slept well and long, cuddled up beside a Keeper and covered in a blanket, with another blanket slung midway across the stable to provide a large dark comforting shape nearby affording the illusion of mother, as well as something soft against which to rest the baby trunk and which feels a little like mother's body. This is a "must" for the newborns, for until the trunk feels comfortable, there is no chance of getting the milk down.


She was in the stable next door to Wendi, and first thing the next morning, all the elephants crowded near her quarters, eager to meet the newcomer, and welcome her into the fold. The door was opened and out came Selengai to an excited and joyous introduction from the four others. Seraa was over the moon, playing the role of little Mummy, Mpala felt protective putting his ears out to threaten approaching people other than the Keepers, Wendi rushed around trying to down bystanders she felt shouldn't be there, and Tomboi looked large beside the new baby. After the initial introductions, they all went off in a tightly knit little herd following their human family into the bush to begin little Selengai's first day in the Nursery. However, because she will need demand feeding, and careful monitoring over the next couple of days, she will remain (with her blanket) close by until we are sure that she is sufficiently fit and strong to join the others further afield.

Seraa immediately pays enormous attention to the new arrival


Please see the resources above for more information on SELENGAI

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