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 The Rescue of Orwa - 11/29/2011
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On the 29th of November we got a phone call from the Senior Warden of South Turkana Game Reserve about an elephant orphan found in the Orwa area near the Reserve boundary. As the call came in late in the evening, the rescue Team had to wait until the next morning to leave for the flight. KWS Rangers captured the calf and kept him overnight until the Keepers could fly could get there the following day.
On the morning of the 30th November 2011 the Keepers flew to the area and rescued the calf who is estimated to be about one year old, obviously a victim of either poaching or problem animal control. He had been without his mother for some time, and in an advanced state of emaciation upon arrival. As an orphan alone and in such feeble condition, he had obviously been harassed by small predators perhaps Turkana domestic dogs or jackals, who inflicted superficial bite wounds on his body. So relieved was he to suddenly find empathy and caring company, (albeit from what to him must have been perceived as the enemy), that from the onset he was sucking on the Keepers hands, taking milk and entrusting himself into their care.

The airplane is prepared for the rescue  Scenes from the rescue plane

The men responsible for rescuing the orphans  The orphan is very affectionate towards those who saved him

The Keepers move the orphan closer to the plane to prepare to load him  Preparing to lift the orphan into the rescue plane

Julius on the rescue plane with the orphan

This is very unusual for an orphan of his age, often signaling the end, so we were surprised to find that he had even survived the first night in the Nursery without descending into a coma and having to be put on life support. Very few elephants remain in that extremely harsh and arid desert environment which is riddled with gun-toting Pokot and Turkana tribesmen, most of whom are anything but ele-friendly. From the start, Orwa was a loner, deeply saddened and depressed over the loss of his elephant mother and family, choosing to stay apart from the other orphans, and trailing behind them, the epitome of misery, dejection and severe emaciation. Since his stools were problematical, he underwent an oral course of Suphadimidine, and since then has improved, now able to get up from a sleeping position without help. We are hopeful that time and tender loving care will heal this tough little elephant from the lava wastes of the South Turkana Game Reserve both psychologically and physically.

The orphan arrives in Nairobi Nursery  The orphan arrives at the Nursery

Orwa  Orwa with Naipoki and Julius

   

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