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 The rescue of Tassia - 3/28/2009
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This 9 month old bull calf was found all alone by three Samburu herdsmen during the morning of 26th March, 2009 as they were herding their cattle in the arid scrub Acacia country of their tribal land in an area known as Olchurai. He was near a hill known as Ntalabani where there has been a marked upsurge in poaching for ivory of late, ever since Chinese construction workers arrived to work on the roads of the area. With only the remains of the dead around and no sign of any living elephants nearby, it is probable that this calf is yet another victim of ivory poaching, fortunate to have been found by some ele friendly tribesmen, who reported his whereabouts to the Headquarters of the nearby Il Ngwezi Conservancy. They sought the assistance of Lewa Downs to help capture the calf and transport him to the nearest airfield which happened to be the one near Tassia Lodge, there to await the arrival of the rescue plane. The care and concern shown by his rescuers for his well being was most touching.   

The keepers leaving Nairobi to rescue the calf  The rescue plane preparing to land in the Illingwezi Conservancy

The Illingwezi Conservancy area from Tassia airstirp  The men responsible for Tassia's rescue

The calf in the truck awaiting the airplane rescue  The calf in the truck that brought him to the airstrip

One of the Samburu men that rescued the calf sat with the calf on the journey to the airstrip


Before being loaded for the flight back to the Nursery, he was fed milk and rehydrants and given the usual prophylactic antibiotic injectionas a precaution against pneumonia. He was laid onto the canvas stretcher, his legs bound for the flight. Stephen in the meantime took notes about his rescue story from the men involved.

Stephen takes details regarding the cafl from the men that rescued him  The calf with one of the men that rescued it

The Keepers give the calf re-hydrate fluid  The calf is laid on a matress in preparation for the flight

The Keepers asses the calf's condition

The calf held down by the Samburu herdsmen that found him while the calf is prepared for the flight  Everyone gathers to help load the calf into th airplane

Everyone watches as the calf is loaded in the airplane  Tassia remains calm during the flight

He arrived at the Nairobi Nursery the afternoon of the 26th March, and although emaciated and weakened from milk deprivation, he remained with a strong will to survive. This was made more evident when he was warmly embraced by the other orphans and immediately accepted into their group. He is a lovely mellow elephant that the Keepers have nicknamed Papa Oscar, and he absolutely loves his milk having been without it for so long, and is constantly in search of more. Tassia continues to grow stronger and his loving nature makes him a firm favourite with all those lucky enough to know him.  

Tassia in the stockade  Tassia standing quietly in his stockade

Tassia is warmly greeted upon his 1st meeting with the other nursery orphans  The other orphans are curious of the new comer

Edwin giving Tassia milk  Tassia


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