The following is information on the Elephant Orphan named: UKAME  (foster now)

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 UKAME  Female  Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Rukinga Ranch  2.5 years  Ukame was rescued during the height of the drought in Tsavo in dire circumstances, she was found weak and malnourished standing under a tree on Rukinga Ranch  Drought Related 

Latest Updates on UKAME:

View to Location map for UKAME (opens a new window)

Most Recent Keeper's Diary Entry: (view all the latest entries for UKAME)

3/31/2017 - We has quite a surprise today when one of the big elephants was seen running all over the place, ears high and alert, stomping and flattening all the grass and bushes and trumpeting in real excitement. No one was really interested in joining her game as they were all crowded together in the same thicket enjoying some browse, and when she came close to the keepers they realized it was Ukame! It was a real surprise to find Ukame in this kind of mood as she is not usually this excitable. Perhaps every once in a while but she is never the one to initiate this kind of game, normally she is following someone else. Ambo was the first one to join her and assisted her in driving away the warthogs that had come close too close to the herd. Rapa and Wanjala quickly followed suit! This happy moment really reach its momentum when the professor of trumpeting, Esampu, joined the choir however. Her trumpeting is so loud. It was only those that had gone to see the little babies, Mbegu, Pare, Mteto, Sana Sana and Malkia who were left out of the game. All the rest enjoyed the trumpeting and game at length –with today’s architect being the unlikely Ukame! After all the noise and running around, Galla with his friend Wanjala joined engaged Ndotto in a wrestling game. The experienced Ndotto tackled both of them with all of his pushing knowledge, shoving one away and then the other. They took lots of time playing, before settling back to feed.

With all the poor new babies we have received recently, there have been lots of changes to the orphans night rooms. When Takaywa came in Malima gave up her stable to him and she was promoted to a bigger stockade. Her first and second night were fine, but this evening she fought so hard, wanting to get into her old stable. Wanjala and Ukame were also moved rooms to the other side of Maxwell’s stockade, and they have been giving the keepers a hard time about entering those as well. Ngilai and Pare have had no complaints about their new rooms – which belonged to Ukame and Wanjala before!

The Two Latest Photos of UKAME: (view gallery of pictures for UKAME)

 Ukame finding her way around the Forest Ukame finding her place as a new mini matriarch
Ukame finding her way around the Forest
photo taken on 10/30/2016
Ukame finding her place as a new mini matriarch
photo taken on 10/30/2016

ORPHAN PROFILE FOR: UKAME (foster now)


On the 25th of October, during the height of the drought in Tsavo, it was reported to KWS and also to the DSWT Voi based teams, that a female elephant calf was in dire circumstances and was weak and standing under a tree on Rukinga ranch.



Rukinga is one of the many ranches adjacent to Tsavo East National Park, and is a vital dry season range for Tsavo’s elephants. The management of the ranch had observed the female calf for three days, hoping that she would assimilate back into a wild herd and move off with them.

  


However, she remained there without food or water and it became evident that she was doomed to die unless rescued. Trevor Jennings of the DSWT along with one of our anti-poaching teams, some KWS rangers and our Voi Elephant Keepers drove the 45-minute journey to undertake the rescue of this calf who was estimated to be around two and a half years of age.

flying to Tsavo  Rescuing Ukame from Rukinga Ranch

In the meantime, Angela Sheldrick was contacted, and preparations were made to fly the calf to the DSWT Nairobi Nursery as it was clear that she would need intensive care given her precarious state. She was a large calf, with tusks one inch long, but severely weakened and emaciated from the drought, so she put up little resistance. The ground team did not have to wait long before the plane landed on the dusty Rukinga airstrip, the calf by now recumbent in the back of a Landcruiser; it required many able-bodied men to heave her out of the vehicle and load her into the aircraft, with both Rukinga staff and scouts all involved in this exercise. She was immediately placed on intravenous lifesaving drip for the duration of the flight and the drive to the Nursery based in Nairobi National Park.

Ukame having been rescued and taken to the airstrip  it needed a lot of man power to lift her from the car into the plane

Ukame at the airstrip  Ukame getting ready to board the plane to Nairobi

Ukame gets lifted on to the plane  Akame and the keepers on the plane

By the time she arrived at the Nursery It was 8 p.m at night. She was placed into a large taming stockade next to Dupotto, and given medication before being lifted to her feet. All the other resident orphans were all communicating with her from their night stockades and this calmed her enormously. Her stockade had been filled with green vegetation and she was fed oral rehydration salts, as well as taking a bottle of milk.

Arriving in Nairobi before dark  Ukame arrives at the Nairobi Nursery at nightfall

However, the next day when some strength had returned she was aggressive and full of fight which inhibited any further milk intake, but she fed on the cut browse and continued to drink water laced with dehydration salts. After 48 hours, however, she collapsed which is not unusual when dealing with starvation cases. IV drips were required to revive her and return some strength.

Ukame feasts on fresh cut greens in her stockade  The Keepers try taming Ukame down

Ukame and her Keeper

We named her “Ukame”, the Swahili word denoting drought - a very lucky little elephant to have been found and saved in time at the end of a brutally dry season, with many others before her, sadly less fortunate. It is likely that she was abandoned by her herd simply because she no longer had the strength to cover the distances required to access food and water, and the entire herd had mere survival as a priority, their fate reliant on being able to cover the distance to access both food and water to sustain them.

Ukame finding her way around the Forest  Ukame finding her place as a new mini matriarch

Ukame with her new orphan herd in Nairobi  Ukame making new friends at the Nursery

Over the weeks “Ukame” recovered and was eventually strong enough to join the other orphans out in the Nairobi National Park forest. She is a gentle and loving little elephant who has found happiness again amidst her new adopted family, and being one of the older females in the herd, she has taken to tending to those younger than herself, benefiting from their reciprocal affection and love which has helped her psychological healing.
   

Please see the resources above for more information on UKAME

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