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 The rescue of Sasab - 11/10/2011
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We received a call early in the morning of November 8th about a tiny elephant calf that had been rescued within the West Gate Community Conservancy having been robbed of his family by the flood waters of the Ewaso Niro river. Early that same morning a community guard named Hospitali happened upon this tiny calf grappling in the fast flowing flood waters, obviously having been washed, tumbled and bumped down river by the raging torrent.

The rescue Team is prepared  Milk & re-hydration fluid is packed in the rescue vehicle

The keepers in the plane

This region has experienced heavy rains for a number of weeks, and while beautifully green, and food now plentiful, baby elephants during this time are extremely vulnerable when crossing the swollen river Ewaso Niro. Hospitali pulled the calf to the safety of dry land, and once the tiny baby had regained his strength, walked the calf the kilometer to Sasaab Lodge where Hospitali works. Ali and Tony Allport, the managers of Sasaab Lodge, contacted the Kenya Wildlife Service Senior Warden for the district reporting the plight of the tiny calf. Locating the calfs herd in this vast area, with no idea of how far downstream he had even been swept was clearly not an option, and so it was decided that he required the support of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.


The keepers meet the rescue team on the ground  Ally with Amos

The rescue plane landed at the Kipsing airfield and the team was met by Tony and taken to the lodge where the tiny little male calf waited their arrival. Still pink behind the ears, and clearly very hungry he immediately took the milk offered to him without too much resistance. After that his bumps and bruises from being swept down river were treated with the magical green clay, before he was prepared for his one hour flight back to Nairobi.

Amos gives the baby milk  The orphan is given milk

Amos puts green clay on the orphans injuries  The calf is laid down on the rescue tarp

Hospitali with Sasab  Amos

Loading the orphan in the rescue vehicle  Ally and Amos go with the baby to the airstrip

The Pilot helps to load the calf in the plane  Amos cools the baby off using water

Amos stays with the calf during the flight  Amos with the baby in the plane

On arrival back at the Nursery he was clearly exhausted by his ordeal, fed again and then in the comfort of his stable, with a Keeper close at hand finally slept. Later he was introduced to the others, and immediately settled knowing that he had his elephant family once again. Little babies this age, while incredibly fragile and difficult to raise on formula, do not suffer the same emotional trauma elephants of five months and older feel. Too young to fully comprehend events he soon settled into Nursery life, and while he loves the company of the other orphans he is absolutely hooked on his Keepers.

The calf is laoded in the vehicle to go to the Nursery  Sasab arrives at the Nursery

Amos leades the baby to his stockade  Sasab

Sasab is tierd and soon falls asleep  Sasab sleeping

We have named this tiny little calf Sasab, and a couple of weeks on from his rescue he has just sprouted his first tooth, which normally happens at four weeks old. We therefore suspect Sasab was just two weeks when orphaned.

Sasab getting love from Tano  Sasab pusing a keeper

Sasab with  the orphans  Sasab with Makireti

Sasab with Stephen


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