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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 ZIWA  Male  Sunday, February 12, 2012 Amboseli Environs  2 Years old  Found protecting his dying mother who had collapsed in a water hole too weak to stand  Sick Mother 

Latest Updates on ZIWA:

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

12/30/2018 - Shukuru was very happy and playful today which surprised the Keepers as she is not normally like that, but more quiet and docile. After she was done with her pellets she happily walked out into the forest, and Ziwa and Faraja followed suit once they were done with their own share. This left only Lima Lima to walk back to pick up Shukuru’s left over pellets.

At midday, Murera did not want to come for her milk bottle, but she escorted her friends, the youngsters Mwashoti and Alamaya, and then turned back to the shade. When Lima Lima saw that Murera was not coming for her bottles, she demanded that she be given Murera’s bottle instead. She was very demanding and was kept far away from the extra share, and instead the extra one was given to little Mwashoti, which was such a surprise for him he never thought he would receive an extra share, and he rumbled with joy.

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

 Entering the mudwallow At mudbath
Entering the mudwallow
photo taken on 1/21/2014
At mudbath
photo taken on 1/21/2014


On the 8th January 2014 The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust rescued two orphaned elephants. The first was Losesia, a six month old female who had fallen down a man made well in Sera Conservancy, Northern Kenya, but very sadly died soon after her arrival her at the Nursery having ingested well water into her lungs. The second calf was a two year old bull rescued from Amboseli National Park, his mother was known to the researchers of Amboseli as Zombe. Zombe was treated in December by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust funded Sky Vet program, a program that we run in conjunction with KWS, after we received reports of a sick female with a young dependent calf. It remained a mystery as to what her problem actually was, with no obvious injuries to treat, long acting antibiotics were administered. Throughout this time she did not travel far, and her young calf remained by her side, with the rest of the herd moving further a field.

Three weeks later we received a phone call from KWS that she had been found collapsed in a water hole too weak to stand, with stories of her young calf gallantly protecting her from the curious and hungry hyenas. Both were at risk of a gruesome end. We immediately prepared for the Sky Vet once again, this time headed by KWS veterinary officer Isaac Lekelol and our elephant Keepers accompanying him. The team headed to Amboseli, fully expecting that this may well have a tragic end, and that the calf may need rescuing before nightfall, as clearly with the hyenas aware of his presence and plight the chances were high that he would not be found in one piece the following day.

Arriving at Wilson to head out for the rescue  Heading out to find the orphan

The rescue plane on the airstrip waiting for the calf

A KWS team met them at the airstrip and drove them to the water hole where Zombe lay completely devoid of any strength. The scene that the team was confronted with was so extremely sad. Zombe lay semi submerged in the mud of a waterhole, barely alive, and her confused little calf loyally still by her side trying as best he could to offer her the protection he knew she needed. How long she had been like that was never established, but clearly for some time. Any hope of retrieval was unrealistic, as Zombe’s health was now seriously failing and the reasons for her condition still unclear. With little option the decision was made by Dr. Lekelol to euthanize her and put her out of any further suffering and rescue her calf before he fell prey to the predators.

The calfs dying mother  The calf near his dying mother

The calf hiding in the long grass  Preparing the dart for immobilization

The orphaned calf

Her baby we know is two years old as his birth and first two years have been observed and filmed by the Amboseli Elephant Research team. He was a big and robust calf, typical of Amboseli elephants, and because of the stressful situation it was decided the best route would be to dart him, put him to sleep and for him to be transported by air to Nairobi, a short flight of 40 minutes. With the help of KWS and the Masai community, from the area where Zombie and her calf shared their last days, committed to helping the rescue team in lifting the immobilized calf onto the back of the KWS land cruiser and later with the heavy task of loading the calf onto the waiting aircraft this whole process was managed quickly before nightfall.

The immobilized calf  Community members interested in what is going on

The immobilzed calf nearly ready for transport  Preparing to place the calf on the tarpauline

In the vehicle on the way to the airstrip  Loading the calf

The loaded calf  Securing the calf for the flight

Preparing for take off

They arrived at the Nursery in the late evening, and the calf was woken once safely inside the stockade that would be home for the next five days. He seemed confused, but was immediately comforted by the surrounding orphans, and began to feed immediately on both milk from a bottle and greens. He tamed down incredibly fast, with an insatiable lust for his milk bottle. He seemed to relish company once more, but his haunted eyes carried the memory of his lost mother. We called him Ziwa. Ziwa means waterhole, and given that his old life ended at a waterhole and his new life began there it seemed fitting, also keeping the Z from his mother’s name.

The calf arrives at the nursery  Carrying the calf into the stockade

The still immobilized calf in the stockade  Administering the revival drug

Ziwa hiding in the corner  Ziwa in the corner of his stockade

Ziwa unsure of his surroundings  Ziwa feeding in the stockade

Ziwa tamed fast and it was just five days before he was safely out with the others and heading to the midday mud bath time open to the public. Obviously with communication from the others he was fully briefed, because he was down there amazingly, around the visitors on his first day out of the stockades.

The calf is called Ziwa  Suswa greets Ziwa

In the stockade  Ziwa reaching out in greeting

He is a lovely gentle elephant, who has found many new elephant friends in the Nursery. His condition is good and he simply loves his milk bottle, so Ziwa is a brave and lucky little elephant, afforded a second chance thanks to the hard efforts of many.

Ziwa out in the bush  Running around

At mudbath  Entering the mudwallow


Please see the resources above for more information on ZIWA

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