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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 RAPA  Male  Thursday, January 15, 2015 Kisima Hamsini - Sera Conservancy  5-6 months old  Found fallen down a well in the Kisima Hamsini Area  Well Victim 

Latest Updates on RAPA:

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

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

5/29/2018 - Ukame, the hot-tempered girl, was the first one to leave the stockade as she was followed closely behind by Roi. The orphans settled briefly for lucerne before Maramoja led the way out. Rapa and Karisa had a light strength-testing exercise that went on for quite some time. In the process, as Karisa was retreating to gather momentum, he stepped into a small ditch that made him lose his balance. Rapa applied a little force that meant Karisa fell over. As Karisa struggled to his feet, Rapa watched in disbelief how a little knock meant Karisa had completely fallen over, not knowing that it was just sheer luck that meant Karisa had initially lost his balance. Rapa was very happy as he has never won any contest since coming to Ithumba five months ago! Later, Rapa settled to browse with Tusuja where he boasted about how he managed to humiliate Karisa. Tusuja invited Rapa to a wrestling game but to keep his winning streak going, Rapa opted to part ways and went to feed with his friends Pare and Maramoja. The rest of the day was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing without having any visitors join them. In the evening, Kithaka, Sirimon, Lemoyian, Garzi, Barsilinga and Laragai who have been putting up a bit of resistance to being locked in the stockade after testing freedom for some time now, devised a method of how they will make their displeasure known to the keepers. A few meters from the stockade, the six orphans pretended to be drinking water at water troughs nearby as the keepers stood at the gate waiting patiently for them to come in. To the keepers’ surprise, the six juniors turned and headed back to the browsing field. The keepers tried to call them to come back but this only worsened things as the naughty herd increased their pace and disappeared into the bushes. Indeed they had passed the message to the keepers that they don't want to be locked in. Siangiki and Olsekki watched from the stockade as their friends disappeared into the bush. Olsekki and Siangiki did not wish to be out at night after the ordeal that Siangiki went through when she met with the merciless lions. The six rebels reported back at midnight after they had their fun out in the bush; they are just like six naughty teenagers!

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

 Rapa, Suswa and Dupotto Rapa in a playful mood
Rapa, Suswa and Dupotto
photo taken on 7/22/2015
Rapa in a playful mood
photo taken on 7/14/2015

ORPHAN PROFILE FOR: RAPA (foster now)


On the 1st of July Lewa relayed a report to DSWT from Sera Conservancy that Samburu Scouts had retrieved a young calf from one of the many wells in that area, Kisima Hamsini. The baby elephant had slipped in while the herd crowded around to drink water. Because of the presence of the pastoral people in the area the elephants do not linger long, and tend to drink here at night often while passing through to more fertile pastures.



By morning any evidence of elephants had vanished, only the screams of the desperate baby alerted the community. Due to sensitisation throughout the region these orphans are often reported and timely solutions sought for them. The community conservation scouts extracted the calf and he was kept safe until the DSWT could send a rescue plane to fly him to the Nursery. This is a hot and arid part of the country and extremely dry at this time of year, human wildlife conflict incidences increase as both man and the elephants struggle to share the same water resources.

Rescue team and orphan at the airstrip  The rescue plane

Peter greets the new orphan  Tasting the milk

Taking milk  The calf is offloaded

Restraining the calf  The calf being restrained

The flight to northern Kenya past Mount Kenya and beyond Samburu to Sera conservancy is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The airstrip is short and fairly crude which makes rescues from here challenging. The calf had been driven in the back of a land cruiser to wait at the airfield shaded from the unforgiving sun while the scouts awaited the plane and keepers. He was a big, robust calf full of fight, but with bruises from his ordeal and very infected eyes as a result of his struggle in the putrid water while trapped in the well. Thankfully because the calf was small only about five to six months old, the weight was well within the limitations for a Cessna Caravan for a short takeoff as the team departed with the calf safely strapped in the back and an IV drip in place to compensate for the time he had been without mother’s milk.

Sera Wildlife Conservancy Ranger  Preparing to load the calf onto the plane

All of the rescuers  Strapping the calf in for the flight

On arrival in Nairobi he was loaded onto the waiting pickup with all the crew at Wilson Airport now extremely comfortable wrangling elephant orphans having dealt with many before. Even the Police who man the airport’s entrance gate curiously seek the details of each and every case as the DSWT exit the airport perimeter for the short journey to the Nairobi National Park, and DSWT Nursery orphanage.

The calf is offloaded at Wilson  The pickup and calf arrive at the Nursery

The calf in the stockade  The calf is called Rapa

The exhausted calf resting  Some of the injuries the calf sustained in the well

In the shade  Enjoying greens

A very feisty baby was off loaded and placed in a stockade, too stressed for a stable, and while he looked like the perfect little grey fat-cheeked Dumbo he packed a punch. It took two intensive days in order to settle him down.

Rapa munching a twig  The day after rescue

Sucking Peter's finger  Enjoying some milk

We called him Rapa after a hill in the area from where he was rescued. In time he calmed sufficiently and was able to join the established orphans for their daily outing in the forest. He has assimilated well and the calming care of the others has turned him into a happy member of the nursery herd.

Out with the other orphans  Rapa joins the others in the bush

In the middle of the group  Rapa sucking his trunk

Rapa and Tusuja  Mbegu and Rapa

Rapa in a playful mood  Rapa, Suswa and Dupotto

Rapa

   

Please see the resources above for more information on RAPA

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