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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 LEMOYIAN  Male  Sunday, June 24, 2012 Found trapped in a well close to Amboseli National Park  about 3 months old  He fell down a manmade well and got separated from his family  Well Victim 

Latest Updates on LEMOYIAN:

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

2/24/2018 - Due to the ongoing dry season, the Ex Orphans and wild elephants show up on daily basis. The Ex Orphans target the lucerne grass which is provided every morning by the keepers from the store. Two wild elephants that appear to be new in the area walked with caution as they raised their trunks up, trying to determine how safe the area is. They could not understand how a gathering of elephants of similar age were located in this one area, and with so many humans as well! Their curiosity subsided when Laragai passed close by and extended her trunk towards them, probably in an effort of calming them down by answering their questions. Soon after the orphans were through with the lucerne, Kamok led the way to the browsing field where Tusuja settled to browse with Ukame. From time to time, the two could be seen communicating through touch, perhaps discussing the current drought and how it is affecting them by having to walk long distances for food to fill up their huge stomachs. Later, Tusuja and Galla, who are now considering themselves as grown up boys, had a sparring contest that ended in a draw.

Laragai, Kithaka, Boromoko, Sokotei, Siangiki, Garzi, Barsilinga, Lemoyian, Sirimon and Olsekki, every morning take a different route to the other orphans and return back late at night most of the time.

At mud bath time, the hot tempered Ukame, who has made an habit of pushing any elephant close to her after having her milk, threatened to push Namalok. If it were not for the keepers intervening by shouting at Ukame, then Namalok would have had a difficult time with Ukame. After mud bath, the orphans stampeded in fright when a troop of chattering baboons passed by at a high speed. The orphans didn’t understand why the baboons were running so opted to run as well! The afternoon was quiet as the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing.

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

 The calf in the rescue plane The calf bonding with Mishak once at the Nursery
The calf in the rescue plane
photo taken on 11/2/2012
The calf bonding with Mishak once at the Nursery
photo taken on 11/2/2012


On the Western side of Amboseli National Park about 1 km from the Tanzanian border, there is a deep watering well called the ‘Lemoyian Well’ where the resident Masai cattle herders water their livestock. The whole area is known as Lemoyian, named many years ago after a prominent Masai family.

During the night of the 8th October a great deal of commotion was heard by some of the local community members at the well. Upon further investigation it was obvious that the noise during the night was a mother elephant desperately trying to save her calf that had fallen down the well. A local community member and livestock owner named Muterian Ole Saboti, who had found the mother and calf at sunrise, reported the situation to the Amboseli Research Station first thing in the morning of the 9th when the mother elephant was still at the well struggling to free her calf. Sadly herds of cattle began streaming into the area in order to drink from the well, forcing the mother to abandon her calf. Muterian stayed with the baby until help arrived, having managed to singlehandedly chase-off a group of local youths from spearing him.

Officials from the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) soon arrived at the scene and were assisted by community members in extracting the calf. The orphan was then loaded into a vehicle and driven to the Amboseli Park airstrip, from where it was met by the DSWT rescue team and soon airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery. The calf, a beautiful baby bull who was about 3 months of age on arrival, arrived at the Nursery by 5pm and has since been named “Lemoyian”. We feel for the mother elephant who is obviously grief-stricken having lost her calf, and we are incredibly saddened that this orphan could not have been reunited with his family. Since the well is very close to an international border, and the mother could well have crossed into Tanzania, it was not an option for the rescuers to attempt to reunite the family.

The orphan at the airstrip  The Keepers feed the orphan and prepare him for the flight

The Amboseli Trust for Elephants team who helped rescue the calf  The calf is tied down for the flight to the Nursery Unit

Muterian's selfless and committed protection of little Lemoyian until help arrived is an example to all of us. An appropriate way to reward his exemplary conservation behavior is being decided in the hope that it will go some small way towards encouraging others in the wider community, and especially within his local community, to feel the same way about the wildlife they share their land with.

The calf in the rescue plane  The calf bonding with Mishak once at the Nursery

Lemoyian with Julius

Of course huge thanks go to Muterian himself, the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and also Tortilis Camp who were extremely helpful in the rescue, and who have now made a ramp for the waterhole so that any future animals caught in the well can escape easily.

Muterian comes to visit the orphans

Solomon, Muterian's friends visits the orphans  Muterian visits Lemoyian

Muterian visits Lemoyian

Although it is still early days Lemoyian is thriving at the Nursery. He was initially treated with anti-biotics as the staff at ATE informed us that the well into which he had fallen was very dirty, therefore the likelihood of him ingesting toxic water was high. The treatment seems to have helped as we have not had much trouble with his health, although he initially lost a little weight due to the change in diet and stress of losing his mother, but this will improve in time. He is a very boisterous little bull and loves being mothered by the older females like Mutara and Shukuru, who spend much of their time hugging him and letting him huddle underneath them.


Please see the resources above for more information on LEMOYIAN

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