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 The rescue of Oltaiyoni - 1/2/2014
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On the 22nd of October, Angela was called by a staff member from ZIWAni Voyager Lodge located in Tsavo West National Park with news of a young lone orphaned elephant that had been seen hanging around close to the lodge for a number of days. It was clear the young elephant was an orphan due to her deteriorating condition.


The DSWT Voi Keepers, together with the KWS/DSWT Veterinary unit, were contacted and in the late evening arrived at the scene. With the help of the lodge staff, the team easily caught and restrained the calf. She was carefully placed in the back of a vehicle and given intravenous fluids for the duration of the journey back to the Voi Stockades in Tsavo East National Park. Once there the keepers placed her in one of the taming stockades with the orphans close at hand for comfort. She was too wild to feed on milk and due to the late hour the arrangements to fly her to the Nairobi Nursery were planned for the following day.

Julius with the new baby  The calf is in a pushing mood

Feeding the new calf

The calf who is estimated to be approximately six months old has been named OLTAIYONI; after a small tributary running into the ZIWAni swamps close to where she was rescued.

Leaving Wilson  On the way to the airstrip

Getting the calf ready for airlifting  Preparing to lift the calf into the vehicle

Preparing the calf for the flignt  One of the keepers on the flight to Tsavo

The next morning OLTAIYONI seemed calmer and took a bottle of milk, while the Voi team awaited the arrival of the Nairobi Keepers in the rescue aircraft. She was recaptured and prepared for the flight before being driven the short 3km to the Voi National Park airstrip to wait for the arrival of the plane. The Nairobi Keepers once again placed her on I.V. fluids to manage her dehydration levels throughout the flight

The calf is placed on a drip  Enroute to Wilson

The calf arrives at the nursery  Offloading the calf

The calf is placed in the stockade  Edwin gets acquainted with the calf

Once OLTAIYONI arrived at the Nursery she was placed in a stable with BARSILINGA as a neighbor next door. She immediately took her milk, but remained very shy and fearful of any humans coming too close. She was ready to join the others out in the Park the very next day and quickly learnt the ropes, absolutely addicted to her milk bottle. BARSILINGA quickly became a dear friend and this incurred the wrath of a jealous KITHAKA who was BARSILINGA’s close companion. Poor little OLTAIYONI has had to contend with KITHAKA not always being very nice to her from time to time. Thankfully however, this is becoming less frequent as KITHAKA has learnt to accept that OLTAIYONI is here to stay and he will just have to share the attentions of BARSILINGA with her.

She is named Oltaiyoni  Sweet little Oltaiyoni

Oltaiyoni with the other orphans  Oltayoni running

Oltaiyoni in the bush  Oltaiyoni sniffing

Oltaiyoni having milk


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