With the drought ravaging parts of Tsavo and much of Northern Kenya we of course have become increasingly concerned about the fate of our wild orphaned elephants. From our Voi Unit we have been undergoing regular patrols, and thankfully located Emily’s group towards the end of September. They all seem to be doing well, with Emily and Edie’s calves Eve and Ella also looking in good condition, as do the rest of the group. This obviously comes as a huge relief, because conditions are extremely tough out there, and without the guidance of a wise old Matriach, whose decisions in these kinds of conditions can mean life or death for the herd, it must be extremely difficult. The friendships the orphans have made amidst the wild community have obviously guided and helped them enormously in this difficult time. Infact when we came across Emily’s group they were with a wild group who had their own calves, and some older bulls too.
Natumi and her group were not there on this particular occasion, however a few days later they were sighted too, in good condition as well which is a relief. We have not had a confirmed sighting of Aitong since November, but it may well be that she is with Lissa and Mpenzi. We still feel sure and certainly hope that if the orphans were in trouble they would return to the stockades looking for help.
Over 109 cases of elephants have died of drought in Tsavo East since July which is very alarming. Rains are expected soon, but should they fail the results would be catastrophic.