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 The rescue of Murit - 9/25/2014
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On the 9th of July the KWS Wamba platoon commander received a report from a community informer that a tiny elephant calf had been discovered down a well. A local herdsman had been taking his herd to water when to his amazement he was confronted by a trapped elephant baby. How long the calf had remained submerged in the well nobody knows as there was absolutely no sign of elephants remaining in the area.

Once the KWS Wamba team had been alerted they immediately drove to the location where the baby had been spotted. The team acted fast and managed to remove the calf from the well but the baby was clearly battered and bruised from the ordeal with infected blood red eyes. 

Because of the late hour the calf was kept over night and KWS Veterinary officer Dr. Mutinda informed Angela Sheldrick the following morning, on the 10th July 2014, that a baby elephant in Wamba was in need of rescuing. Within an hour the DSWT rescue team was in the air en route to Wamba airstrip.

The rescue plane and keepers  The calf arrives at the airstip

The calf is given rehydration fluid

The DSWT team landed at 11:35am and were met by the KWS rangers with a tiny baby elephant in the back of their landcruiser. Immediately a bottle of milk (formula) was given and the baby was then prepared for the flight back to Nairobi. He was severely dehydrated and to be safe was placed on a drip.

Placing the calf on the tarpauline  The young calf

Being prepared for the flight  Ready for the fligth

The calf on a drip during the flight

Once safely in the Nursery the tiny calf was unloaded and ushered into a cozy stable with fresh cut hay, a hanging blanket for comfort and warm freshly mixed milk on hand. 

He was exhausted and after feeding, promptly collapsed and slept. The blood results revealed he had a very serious bacterial infection, which came as little surprise given his ordeal. He had obviously ingested huge amounts of the putrid water while submerged in the well and was immediately placed on medication to combat the infection.

Arriving at the Nursery  On arrival at the nursery

Offloading the calf  Once in the stockade the restraints are removed

He has been named Murit which means “where two rivers meet” in Samburu, which was appropriate given the location he was rescued from. Murit had a precarious first six weeks as his infection proved persistent and required a couple of antibiotic courses to get topside of it. He was teething at the time of rescue and so we watched the chubby little calf that came into our care go through that all too familiar dramatic loss of condition as we struggled to keep Murit alive. He had steadfast little companions in the Nursery who made sure that every day he had all the attention he needed, and more sometimes, with his mini herd, consisting of Kauro, Kamok, Ashaka and Mbegu, constantly on hand.

Having some milk  Murit outside his stockade

The older orphans too were attentive, along with his Keepers who never left his side day and night. Murit fought through the drama of his early weeks and finally turned the corner and has begun to put on condition and has started to play which is a brilliant sign. He is also beginning to mount the little girls too which would suggest he is feeling much better! 

Murit reaching for a keeper  Murit out and about

Murit by a keeper

   

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