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 The Samburu Baby Lost - 11/24/2010
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It is alarming how bad the poaching has become recently throughout Kenya, and particularly in Northern Kenya, where the Chinese have been contracted to build roads.  With a direct market for Ivory on our doorstep, and for good money, it is hardly surprising that poor people are tempted to kill their most valuable resource.  The East's insatiable appetite for Ivory is costing Kenya dearly.  

Today was a very poignant illustration of the far reaching repercussions of every elephant killed, and just how much it costs the country, as it is never just the victim, but their dependent young too that are doomed to die. The herd is ripped apart, and the babies left to a slow and agonizing death simply so their mother’s tusks can be carved into an attractive ornament to be admired somewhere else in the world.    There have been far too many casualties in recent months of dependent young left to wander the wilderness and eventually die, as was the case yet again today.    The ravagers of this little calf’s ordeal was all too real, as she was literally skin and bone, with the pads of her feet cracked and broken,  a telling sign of the many miles she had walked in the searing heat in search of her lost family.

The rescue plane lands at the Shaba airstrip

The calf lay motionless in the back of the pickup  Trying hard to save her life with an intravenous drip

Our Team flew into the Shaba Airstrip in Northern Kenya, having received the news of an orphaned young elephant calf  this morning , 24th November.  She was first found by a tour driver named Ahmed and his clients, who alerted KWS and Save the Elephant personnel, and the calf was immediately rescued.  She was terribly weak and unable to stand.  Despite our team trying desperately hard to save her life on the airstrip, in the shade under the wing of the aero plane, it became increasingly obvious that she was found and rescued a day too late.  She seemed to rally briefly thanks to an intravenous drip, and false hopes were raised, but after finding enough energy to drink briefly, she simply slipped away.  

She seemed to improve and was able to feed.  The calf is able to lift her head to feed with the help of the Keepers

Hopes were raised, as everyone began to believe that she might just make it

The team work tirelessly to save her life

 The plane left empty for the return journey back to Nairobi, leaving her parched crumpled body behind, a harsh reminder of a battle lost.  Back at the Nursery a heavy hearted Abdi (Keeper) related her sad tale,  affected by the day’s events, as all too many stories like this one are unfolding on East Africa’s plains these days, and it is only the very few that are lucky enough to be saved in time. 

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Finally she looses her battle  The battle is lost as they carry her lifeless body away

The Keepers pack up for their flight back home empty handed  

Another little orphan from Samburu, who without the protection of her herd and before she could be rescued,  became a meal for a lion.  Photo taken on the 29th October by Eric Overvelde.  In the last six weeks we have rescued from the same area Bakata, who sadly died, rescued too late.  Naisula,  Wasin and today's little baby who never made it either, and these are just the fortunate few - most are never found in time.  

Another orphaned elephant - Samburu 29th October  




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