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 The rescue of Bhaawa - 3/17/2009
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Another Sunday, the 15th March 2009, and yet another Elephant Rescue alert, this time again from the area around the Kirisia Hills near Maralal in Northern Kenya. The casualty this time was a 5 month old bull calf who became hopelessly bogged in the mud of a drying waterhole of an area known as Baawa during the night of 14 /15th March, and was found in the morning by Samburu cattle herders. They, in turn alerted the Chief, who was reluctant to save the calf at first because of a recent incident, a week before, where a man was killed by an elephant. He was persuaded by KWS Rangers that the calf must not simply be left to die, but should be rescued. These particular KWS Rangers, and indeed the KWS Warden of the Area, are familiar with the Trust's Orphans' Programme, and they not only orchestrated the rescue of the calf, but drove him to Mugie airfield to link up with the Rescue Plane sent from Nairobi.

Our Keepers arrive at Mugie airstrip to find quite an audience

The calf on the airstrip waiting for the rescue plane

The calf on the airstrip awaiting the arrival of the Keepers and rescue team

With the men responsible for his rescue

The calf is kept cool while they wait for the plane

Cynne Falconer-Taylor does body talk on the calf which he responds to

The little calf on the airstrip

While the rangers and the Samburu men who first found the calf waited patiently at the airstrip for the plane to arrive, they ensured he was kept cool by pouring water over him which they ferried from the Mugie school situated on teh airfield. Guests of Clause Mortinson's (The owner of Mugie ranch) came down to the airstrip to be a part of proceedings and Cynne Flaconer-Taylor was able to perform 'body talk' on the calf and he responded immediately which amazed the curious onlookers.

The baby was in good condition, but was suffering from shock and grief, and was extremely restless during the first night, crying and listening with his ears out, facing the direction of the Stockade that houses Lesanju, Lempaute and Sinya at night, obviously sensing their presence and desperate to make contact with them. The next day we allowed him to be with them, and Lesanju managed to calm him, rumbling gently to him, and caressing him with her trunk. Only Lempaute was not welcoming, trying to edge him away from Lesanju and Sinya, resentful that he was suddenly the centre of their attention! However, little Bhaawa, as he has been named miraculously slotted into the Older Elephant Nursery group, so much so that yet another adjustment had to be made regarding the sleeping accommodation the next night. He was put in the stable formerly occupied by baby rhino Maalim next door to Dida and Kimana, and this suited him fine. There was no further crying during his second night in the Nursery, and come morning, he was in amongst the youngsters, embroiled in a pushing match with Suguta, and holding his own in this contest.

The calf was not in bad condition having only been without his mother for 24 hours

Once on his feet the baby took both milk and rehydration fluids

Clause Mortinson, the manager of Mugie ranch who allowed the calf to be airlifted from the airstrip

The men involved in Bhaawa's rescue

The calf is prepared for the flight to Nairobi

The calf on the canvas stretcher and ready for the flight

The elephant is carried to the plane

The calf is loaded onto the plane.jpg

Aden with the new baby

He is doing well, feeding well, and has accepted his new circumstances very stalwartly.    

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