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)

9/30/2015 - The girl that rocks at night, Dupotto, started to take her night behaviour out into the field, but Siangiki would not tolerate that. She immediately went over to stop her. Normally the orphans are released in small groups to go and have their milk in the feeding area. Crowded altogether as they waited, Dupotto started hitting Siangiki with her head as she does in her pen. Siangiki was ready to put her in her place but she was blocked by Balguda who was standing next to her. By the time they were ready to go for their milk, Siangiki and Dupotto were in the same group. Dupotto ran ahead shouting like she does in the night. Siangiki went ahead of her and blocked her from running, kicking her with her hind legs. As she changed direction she followed her and poked her in the back to stop her from crying for no reason. Siangiki disciplined the young girl and made sure she could only go ahead once she had stopped making a noise.

With the hot sun that has been going on for some time now, whenever the orphans get down to the mud bath, most of them are ready to show off their swimming styles, especially during public visiting at 11am. Today Mbegu, Lasayen and Ndotto left some smiles on the audience’s faces as they had great fun rolling in the mud and dust. The two little boys would roll on Mbegu who was also rolling around in the mud. One would climb on her head and the other on her back which they all enjoyed at length. Dupotto went into the mud bath as soon as she had finished her milk. She wallowed for quite a long time, until she fell asleep in the mud! All of her body was submerged in the mud except her head which she had raised up on the banks of the mud hole. It was confirmed she was asleep when all the other babies had left and she did not know a thing until a keeper woke her up.

Mbegu proved her strong maternal instinct today towards Wei Wei, the name of the new baby, who came out of the stockade today. Wei Wei came out at 3pm to join his new friends in the park. He remained a distance away from the other and liked the company of the keepers, so it was Mbegu who came over to meet him first. She was later joined by Arruba and Suswa. She was very impressively welcoming and loving towards Wei Wei. Oltaiyoni, Mashariki, Kauro and Balguda joined and surrounded the new one. He did not spend that much time out as he is still very tired and it was just to introduce him to the others and his broader surroundings; he was escorted back home by Mbegu who kept him company until all the others returned home for bed.

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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