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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 MADIBA  Male  September 2003 Botswana, Southern Africa  Days old  Found in a river bed suffering from a deep head wound. Abandoned by family  Natural Causes 

Latest Updates on MADIBA:

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

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

11/3/2017 - The orphans walked down to the lucerne feeding area and met with Madiba and some of the Ex Orphans where they started sharing lucerne. Kamok was scratching on a rock while Lemoyian and Enkikwe enjoyed a play fight. Olsekki and Sirimon, Madiba and Kithaka were also play-fighting. Later the group walked to the bush to browse.

Out in the bush, Lemoyian was playing and rolling on the ground as we enjoyed some drizzle last night and the earth was wet and fun to roll in. The weather was very cool today. After a few minutes, it started raining again and the elephants were very happy and active, with everyone trying to play in the rain. Kamok scratched on a rock for a bit and then all the orphans decided to walk to the mud bath area for their milk. During their usual mud bath time it was raining and no one wanted to play in the mud wallow, but instead they drank milk and then returned to the bush.

It was very wet but the orphans continued to feed to fill up their tummies before they returned home for the night. We recorded 8mm of rainfall today and we still expect more. As it is raining the Ex Orphans appear to have disappeared for the time being, as they usually do when the rains come and they have more access to food and water in the area.

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

 Madiba having a mudbath (right) Madiba clowning around
Madiba having a mudbath (right)
photo taken on 11/16/2004
Madiba clowning around
photo taken on 11/2/2004


With the approach of Christmas 2003, the Trust dispersed a small pamphlet to promote our online Fostering Programme, saying, “What do you dream of having for Christmas?” The answer was, of course, “A Baby Elephant”. However this was not at the top of our particular list of priorities (which would have been the milk to feed our growing elephant family). At the time we already had 8 in our Nairobi Nursery and another 31 growing up down in Tsavo – a BIG family, by any standards. However, for us, “the dream” came true in an unusual way – the arrival by air of a tiny Southern African orphan named “Olly”, despite immense pressure from many quarters in that part of the world from those who think that only humans are worthy of compassion, and all other living creatures are a mere commercial commodity for sale to the highest bidder. Fortunately, not all people in Southern Africa think that way; hence the saving of “Olly”. Said the famous Naturalist Albert Schweitzer, “until mankind can extend his compassion to the animals, he will never find peace”. We, in Kenya, are proud to be the one country in Africa whose wildlife policy incorporates the vital ingredient of compassion and animal welfare, something that is demonstrated on a daily basis by the hundreds of Kenyans who flock to our Nairobi Nursery to watch and wonder as the infant elephant inmates take their noon mudbath.

The Trust's Keepers stand by on the apron waiting for Madiba's arrival  The plane carrying Madiba arrives the evening of 23rd December

Of course, we welcomed little “Olly” with a feeling of great joy, knowing that that this tiny elephant had evaded a life of bondage. We thank the kind people in South Africa who battled long and hard, and withstood mounting pressure, in order to offer little “Ollie” the priceless gift of freedom and a quality of life amongst wild kin when grown in a Protected Area that offers the s p a c e that elephants need. Especially commended are The Bateleurs, pilots who donate their time and their planes to environmental issues and particularly we must thank Mr. and Mrs. Roland Kerer, who coordinated this crucial part towards the saving of Ollie. The Tanzanian based Coastal Air most generously and very kindly airlifted the little elephant at no cost and went out of their usual area of operation to bring the elephant to Wilson Airport in Nairobi. Karen Trendler and the Staff of Wildcare took good care of Ollie for the three months it took to organise all the CITES permits, and the South African arm of IFAW shouldered contingency expenses during this time.

The landrover parks close to the PC 12 aircraft so that Madiba's crate could be manoeuvred off the plane  Madiba in his crate is carefully lowered onto the DSWT landrover

Olly was rescued in Botswana, found in a riverbed suffering from a deep head wound, possibly inflicted by a predator, which left him confused, able only to walk in circles, and abandoned by his elephant family who had obviously given all hope for his survival. After difficulty, he was moved from Botswana to Wildcare near Pretoria, an internationally recognised rehabilitation center that takes in four legged waifs and strays. From there, the wheels were set in motion for the elephant to be able to come to Kenya and join our orphaned elephant family. And on the 23rd December 2003, after a 7 hour journey, lightly sedated and crated, he arrived at Wilson Airport in Nairobi at 6 p.m. in the evening, accompanied by Karen Trendler. From there he was transported to our Elephant Nursery, and there he walked out of his crate into the Nursery stable next to little “Sunyei” where he spent the night with Keeper Edwin.

The very next day he was out and about with the other 8 Nursery inmates, cosseted by them all, and particularly by the Mini Nursery Matriarch, “Wendi” who is delighted to welcome into the group another very small, very furry, baby of 3 months, tiny for his age, smaller even than 2 month old ”Ndomot”.

Madiba with Julius having a light dustbath.  He arrived as such a fuzzy little elephant  Madiba on this third day totally settled

With the permission of Wildcare, we have changed his name to reflect his Southern African origins and henceforth he will be known as “Madiba”, the name by which famous Nelson Mandela is affectionately known in his homeland..


Please see the resources above for more information on MADIBA

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