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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 BALGUDA  Male  Monday, December 5, 2011 Seen by Tour Operators near Kanderi in Tsavo East National Park  About 6-7 months old  Was seen very distressed on his own, our Voi Keepers were called and came to rescue the orphan  Reason Unknown 

Latest Updates on BALGUDA:

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

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

10/23/2015 - Last night Solio visited the stockades leaving Max in an agitated mood for part of the morning. She arrived home around 3 o’clock in the morning and left soon after 5am leaving the poor boy to wonder all over his stockade. With the overnight pour of rain Max was even more excitable; the rain had started around 9pm and gone on until morning until 10am when it was still drizzling. Such weather conditions leave Maxwell very excited as he loves all the mud too, but he settled down later around 11am when he went to sleep. With the cold weather Wei Wei, Loboito and Tamiyoi had to stay in doors for some time before going out a few minutes after the public show around12 noon. The very little ones need to be protected from the cold because they are susceptible to pneumonia which is prone in young elephants.

In the afternoon as the orphans moved and browsed further into the thicket, Balguda accidentally stepped on a hyena’s cave. The hyenas were sleeping inside with their puppies but both sides reacted with as much surprise and fright. The hyena’s ran and spread out in all directions as the orphans ran to their keepers. Balguda was the fastest of all the orphans running towards their keepers followed by Oltaiyoni and Sokotei, Arruba, Suswa, Rorogoi, Mashariki and Roi. This group went on trumpeting and bashing the bushes as a sign of strength and anger. The big girls became much more concerned when they could not find the group of little babies and the likes of Ndotto, Lasayen, Godoma and Rapa, but they had accompanied Kamok, Tusuja, Simotua and Mwashoti. The keepers had to relocate everybody and bring peace back to the whole group.

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

 Balguda Amos feeding Balguda
photo taken on 5/7/2012
Amos feeding Balguda
photo taken on 5/7/2012


A male calf, aged approximately 6-7 months old was first sighted by visitors wandering on his own below Aruba Dam in Tsavo East National Park. The calf was crying out, clearly distressed, in fact it was the calf's cries that first alerted visitors that something was seriously wrong. The visitors spent some time watching the desperate baby, and it was evident the calf was obviously abandoned and extremely vulnerable with no other elephants in the area. There was also and a pride of lions fairly close by.

The presence of the calf was reported to KWS and our Voi Elephant Keepers who rescued him at dusk on Friday 20th April 2012 just as it was growing dark. While the they could hear the baby's cries it took them close on an hour to actually locate the calf deep in the undergrowth. The orphan spent the first night at the Voi Stockades, pampered by the older orphans based there who made a great fuss of the tiny new arrival. He relaxed and settled down immediately, relieved to find his own kind once more.

The next morning, Saturday 21st April 2012, he was flown to the Nairobi Nursery. On arrival, having taken his milk well, and appearing strong despite being thin, he was allowed out to join the 20 other Nursery elephants that same afternoon and adjustments were made to the sleeping arrangements. He was given the name “Balguda”- the name of an area in the Park near to where he was rescued.

The Keepers boarding the rescue plane  Scenes from the plane

Scenes from below during the flight  The Keepers arrive at the Voi airstrip

The orphan feeds before the flight  The Keepers feed the orphan milk

The orphan is put on a mattress for the flight  The Keepers prepare the calf for the flight to Nairobi

The orphan on the rescue blanket  The orphan in the plane

Scenes from the plane  Off loading the orphan from the rescue plane

The orphan arrives at the Nursery  Balguda in his stable

Amos feeding Balguda

All went well when the new orphan first joined the resident Nursery elephants. He was welcomed very warmly by all the older females, until Ishanga decided to try and hijack the calf and have him all to herself. She approached him gently, lavished him with warmth and love and just when she had his undivided attention suddenly, as though fearful of something, rushed off at speed into the bush closely followed by the calf and another relative newcomer “Kanjoro”. A massive search for the truants ensued, which lasted a couple of anxious hours, until they were found and rounded up several kilometers away. This is the second time that Ishanga has tried trick like this with a new baby!

The calf's stools were black indicating that he had been alone for a while, and in desperation had been eating mud and dirt. After a couple of days he developed serious diarrhea and we were forced to give him a course of antibiotics which thankfully he responded to immediately. Despite having lost some condition he is now doing well, and is a dear little chap, a real favorite amongst the Keepers for his warm friendly nature, seemingly delighted to have an elephant family once more.

Balguda  Balguda

Balguda with Makireti  Balguda and Basilinga


Please see the resources above for more information on BALGUDA

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