On the 27th May 2014, the DSWT Pilot, Nick Trent, located a baby bull elephant that had been sighted the day before wandering alone near a borehole on Lualenyi Ranch. Two vehicles carrying the Voi Keepers, the Ziwani De-Snaring Team and the head ranger from Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, headed to the location. Urgency was paramount as a female lion with three very small cubs were seen from the air within 500m of the calf.
The Voi Team briefed Ziwani Team and they were able to jump the calf and secure it quickly.
Simultaneously, the Nairobi team was also on their way to the airstrip in a plane. They touched down at the airstrip in perfect timing, just moments before the rescue team arrived.
The next step was to prepare the young calf for the journey back to the Nairobi Nursery. Sadly, the young bull had lost a lot of condition and had sustained a nasty injury to the back foot, which could explain why he was orphaned.
As this bull had little tusks and is approximately two years old, lifting him up into the bed of the plane was no mean feat and required all hands on deck. He was then strapped down and ready to go.
On arrival at the Nairobi Nursery he was given stronger antibiotics, a further drip and his wound was cleaned again which thankfully, though deep, had no exposed bone. Finally the young bull got to his feet; shook his head and assessed his surroundings. He had enough strength to mock charge the anxious onlookers watching him through the gate before settling down.
Even though his injury is bad, he is able to put weight on the foot which offers hope. We are safe in the knowledge that if he has a lasting handicap, he can have a second chance of life in our Umani Rehabilitation Camp with the other physically impaired orphans, such as Murera and Sonje.