Published on the 30th of November, 2015
We have been anxious to learn about the whereabouts of Emily’s herd who last visited the Voi Stockades in July 2015. On the 25th November we were amply rewarded by the reappearance of Emily’s entire ex-orphan herd, including Emily’s wild born babies, Eve and Emma, and also those of Edie; Ella and Eden. To our great surprise we noticed another new addition, a little baby born to ex-orphan Sweet Sally.
This boisterous baby boy lovingly pampered by all the other wild born babies of the herd, as well as all the adults, is already showing signs of being a forceful character! We have named him Safi pronounced 'Sarfi' - the Swahili word for unblemished.
Sweet Sally came from a Ranch near Nanyuki called “Sweetwaters”. She and her mother, along with 52 other elephants were moved by the Kenya Wildlife Service to Meru National Park because the ranch is fairly small so when they left the boundaries of the ranch they were in direct conflict with human settlement and cultivation. This was mostly a successful mission by KWS, but the vehicle carrying Sweet Sally and her mother became seriously bogged down. The revving of the vehicle, as it tried to extricate itself under extremely difficult conditions, terrified an already terrified mother elephant and when she was eventually released, she burst out of the travelling crate and fled, leaving her bewildered baby behind. After an aerial search spanning two full days failed to trace her whereabouts, the Kenya Wildlife Service was left with no option but to treat the 6-month-old, milk dependent calf, as an orphan.
On arrival Sweet Sally was a very sad little elephant, with the haunting memory of her mother and family all too clear. Sweet Sally’s grief was so profound that we doubted that even our tender loving care would be able to retrieve her from such deep depression. But like the brave lady after whom she was named, Sweet Sally turned the corner with the help of the other three little nursery elephants including Mulika and Mweya, and Mishak who is loved unconditionally by every elephant orphan that has passed through our hands.
More details about Sweet Sally’s rescue and the story behind her name can be read here: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/updates/updates.asp?ID=25
Sweet Sally has been an integral member of Emily’s herd ever since she grew more independent of the Voi rehabilitation unit. We at DSWT couldn’t have wished for a more special gift on Thanksgiving than welcoming the fourth wild born baby to one of our independent and now wild ex orphans this year alone, making up a total of 16 wild born babies born to our hand raised orphans.
In the past week Emily’s growing herd along with Sweet Sally and Safi have visited the Voi stockades and the dependent orphans on a number of occasions, and Voi head Keeper Joseph Sauni has enjoyed extremely warm welcomes from them all, happy to share their babies with the men who nurtured them to adulthood, and content to stay close to home now that Voi has had plentiful rains, with all the waterholes brimming full and abundant food everywhere. They have enjoyed catching up with the dependent Voi orphans too who are all delighted with the tiny newcomer.Sweet Sally now has a family of her very own able to roam free within the vast Tsavo Ecosystem - her story is truly one to be thankful for.