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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 GALANA  Female  April 2003 Galana River , Tsavo East National Park  14 Months Old  Found by visitors in the park, reason for being orphaned is unknown.  Natural Causes 

Latest Updates on GALANA:

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

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

11/17/2018 - It was an active morning when we received visitors from Yatta's group with Lualeni, Sunyei, Nasalot and Galana with their babies and nannies. We had also few wild bulls among them. They all looked active and strong. Wendi, Kinna and Mulika with their babies are the only who were not present today. Siku was playing and kissing her mum Sunyei. Ishanga smelled the air with her trunk held up high. The orphans had their milk and joined them too. Mundusi and Nusu were playing and patting each other with their trunks around the water trough.

When all the elephants walked out to the forest, the ex-orphans separated themselves from the group, leaving behind Narok, Orwa and Bomani with the dependent orphans. They stayed with them the whole morning and later walked with them to the mud bath for their milk. Roi is the one who led them. The orphans had their milk and walked over to the water trough where some wild bulls were drinking. They were very welcoming and allowed them to drink too. Because it was cloudy, none of the orphans felt like swimming and the orphans walked out to browse.

All the orphans concentrated on browsing, including Narok, Orwa and Bomani. Pare and Mundusi later led the group back home in the evening for their milk with Kithaka, Barsilinga, Laragai and Garzi among them.

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

 Galana Galana
photo taken on 11/4/2004
photo taken on 10/15/2004


It always happens on a Sunday! During the morning of Sunday 15th August, a phone call from our De-Snaring Team Leader in Voi alerted us to the fact that a young female elephant had been rescued near the Galana river, about 10 miles from the Sala Gate on the Eastern boundary of Tsavo National Park. She was approximately 1 year old, and had been found all alone in a patch of thick salt-bush bordering the river by some visitors, who happened to spot a small foot poking out.

Galana moments before she is rescued

There were no other elephants nearby, but there was a pride of 5 lions not far away. The calf had made a tiny den within the salt bush, where she was hiding.

Galana is captured  The keepers work hard to restrain her with out sedation

The visitors alerted the KWS personnel at Sala Gate, who got in touch with our Mobile Veterinary Unit, who were soon on the scene, with some of our De-Snaring personnel. The calf was captured, and transported to our Elephant Night Stockades at Voi. She was weak and therefore easily restrained without the need for sedation for the 1 hour journey, squeezed into the back of the Mobile Veterinary Unit vehicle, to the Elephant Stockades in Voi, where the baby received a rapturous welcome from the other orphans.

Galana now restrained is loaded into the vet vehicle  Galana is comforted by the other orphans in Voi

They surrounded her and comforted her, whilst our De-Snaring Team Leader made the phone call to Nairobi, advising us that the elephant was fragile and weak and should be air-lifted to the Nairobi Nursery, being still milk dependent and orphaned at a difficult age.

A plane was hurriedly scrambled in Nairobi aboard which were all the necessities for an air rescue; three men, the milk, and the circular carrying tarpaulin, headed for Voi, to where the larger Caravan aircraft (on another charter) would be diverted on its return journey to meet them and bring the elephant back to Nairobi. The new orphan arrived in the Nursery at 3 p.m., again without having to be sedated for the flight but instead manually restrained with legs tied.

Before boarding the plane in Voi, she had taken the milk and rehydration that the rescue plane had brought. Once up on her feet in one of the rhino Stockades at the Nursery, previously occupied by Napasha, she immediately began feeding on greens in between bouts of aggression directed at the humans. However, it was milk she needed most, and this she took eagerly, before charging again at the Keeper, who had to be careful to try and keep from being pinned against the wall.

The next day Galana is flown to the Nairobi nursery

The calf did not appear to be in a critical condition of emaciation, but had obviously been without a mother for sometime. She was obviously thin, her skin parched rather than supple and cheekbones prominent - always a tell-tale indication of poor physical condition. We estimated the age at about 14 months, since she had no tusks, but was a large calf – about the size of Selengai, and taller than the other four Nursery inmates. We named her “Galana”. There was no news of what became of her mother and her elephant family. She owes her life to the kind visitors that found her, and took the trouble to report her plight to the authorities.

Galana in her night stockade

Having spent the first night in the Nursery, the next morning she was too weak to stand and had to be heaved to her feet by the Keepers, who supported her in a standing position whilst Daphne shoveled several handfuls of Glucolin into her mouth to try and generate some strength. Eagerly she accepted this, and then downed another 3 litres of milk whilst the other Nursery elephants crowded around her to show her that she was not alone, and to give her the will to live. This had the usual magical result, and immediately her eyes took on an expression of interest whilst her strength visibly improved. All the Nursery inmates greeted her gently, touching her with their trunks, eager to inspect and smell her – all except Sunyei, who seemed a little “put out” by the presence of a larger female and chose to ignore her presence, standing with her behind pointed towards the newcomer! Madiba and Naserian were the most affectionate, whilst Ndomot had just one thought in his head, and that was to have his trunk glued to his Keeper!

The keepers had to be careful initially as Galana was still wild

Meanwhile Daphne had called in Dieter Rottcher, our Veterinarian, who was surprised to find the invalid sufficiently strong enough to shove the Keeper around in between dreamingly suckling a hand. She was given a steroid and Vitamin B injection, having already had a long acting antibiotic jab in Voi.

Galana meets the other nursery inmates  Galana calms down as soon as the others are around her

On the second morning, once again she had to be helped to her feet, and again enjoyed the company of the other orphans for half an hour in the morning, after the mud bath and in the evening. She fed well, but was still “pushy” towards her Keepers, although very relaxed and quiet when the other elephants were with her. The third morning found her strong enough to get to her feet unaided, and on the fourth morning she was out and about with all the others, happily in among our little herd of Nursery inmates as they went out into the bush. However, we did not risk taking her to the mud bath for fear that the sight of so many visitors might unsettle her again, after what for her, had been a fairly traumatic rescue. It was, however, advisable to avoid sedation on a rescue where the calf is obviously emaciated and weak for baby elephants are essentially very fragile, even when in good health.

Galana promised to be a loving and caring little Mini Matriarch of our Nursery elephants, replacing the role that was held by Sunyei simply because she was older.

Only a few days later she is tame enough to go out to the bush

Galana did so well in the Nursery and in 2005 was moved to the Ithumba Rehabilitation Unit. We are privileged today to still see her every now and then around Ithumba, and she is a member of Yatta and Wendi's ex-orphan herd.

Please see the resources above for more information on GALANA

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