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

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 NDARA  Female  February 2001 Rukinga Ranch - Maungu  8 Months old  Fell into a Pipeline Man hold near to Maungu town  Man Made Cause for Separation 

Latest Updates on NDARA:

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

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

3/19/2018 - Another day started with the orphan elephants coming out of their respective stockades running to their milk bottles which they downed before feeding on dairy cubes, copra cake and lucerne grass pellets. The long walk to the browsing grounds started in earnest with Suswa and Arruba taking the lead.

In the morning, a male baby zebra that was found being chased by community people for bush meat near Ndara plains was rescued and brought to the stockade by the Kenya Wildlife Service Rangers. This orphan baby zebra was very dehydrated and thin and needed lots of care and attention. Ngulia was quite jealous of this new baby and the keeper made sure to keep Ngulia away while allowing Kore and Tawi to come close as they gently greeted the baby.

In the afternoon while the orphan elephants were browsing on the western foot of Msinga Hill, Tundani put his trunk into a big cave surrounded by rocks and drew up some rainwater that he found there and had a drink. Nelion approached him, and gave him a slight push with his fore head, taking his place. However he did not put his trunk into the hole, investigating it first to ensure that nothing would happen to his trunk if he put it in there.

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

 Ndara's treatment for an arrow wound Ndara with baby Neptune
Ndara's treatment for an arrow wound
photo taken on 5/27/2018
Ndara with baby Neptune
photo taken on 6/4/2017


On Tuesday 25th September 2001 at 9.25 AM a message was relayed through KWS to DSWT that an elephant calf had fallen into an open water pipeline manhole near Maungu town, about 30 km South East of Tsavo East Park headquarters. A team of DSWT Keepers led by Dr. Samuel Kasiki immediately left to facilitate the rescue of this stricken calf. Arriving at the scene they found a group of curious villagers gathered around the hole all trying to comfort the helpless baby and by now terrified baby. It was learned from the residents that the calf fell into the hole the previous night when a herd of elephants had visited the area for a drink. Attempts by the mother, and perhaps other relatives, to were futile and the group left at the break of day. No elephants were seen any where close to the scene by early morning.

Ndara being tied to be pulled out of the hole

The hole into which the calve fell, a concrete structure measuring 5ft x 2½ft and 5½ft, is one of the many safety valves along the Mzima water pipeline usually filed with leaking water. These water points attract many elephant herds as well as other wildlife, especially during the dry season, and really should be covered with steel lids, but sadly these are often removed to access water and not returned, and baby elephants are very vulnerable slipping into these death traps.

Ndara  caught in the hole

When the team first arrived only the calf’s head was visible above the water and she was struggling to remain above the water. In trying to escape she had bruised her forehead, back and rump in the process. One of our Keepers squeezed into the hole and passed a soft belt rope under her chest and hind quarters, and with the help of the villagers, the calf was extracted from the breathe hole.

She was heavy, with little room for manoevering and it took nearly 45 minutes to extract her, after which she was loaded into the back of a Pick Up truck and immediately driven to the stockades for treatment of her wounds and by now much needed hydration and milk.

Ndara left, Tsavo and Emily

Other than the apparently superficial wounds on her body, the calf looked healthy and strong, and she settled down well under the attentive care of Malaika. We already had another elephant rescued from the same hole on the 22nd of June 2001 called Maungu, and Ndara from day one struck up a very close friendship with Maungu having had a similar fate. These two grew up together firm friends. Sadly Maungu died a number of year later from a clotted mass in her heart, caused we think from the injuries she sustained when she fell into this manhole years before. Later too Malaika died in childbirth so Ndara has known her fair share of heartbreak.

Ndara in Tsavo  Ndara sitting in the water at mudbath

Solango and Ndara  Emily hovers over a submerged Ndara

Ndara is discouraged from fratinising too closely with a wild herd's babies

Ndara thankfully continued to thrive comforted by the remaining orphans and became and integral member of Emily's ex-orphan herd, and has found lasting friendships. Ndara once much older had a scare with a poisoned arrow injury, but with intensive care back at the stockades we managed to save her, and she instinctively knew that she needed to remain in the fold once again giving herself the time to recover. She required a number of operations over the months as the arrow had embedded in her joint. Remarkably Ndara made a full recovery over the span of many moons, and today has her own wild born baby Neptune! Her journey has been full of drama which is why seeing her so happy and such a lovely and attentive mother to her calf with the support of her orphan family is heartwarming indeed.

Ndara with baby Neptune


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