Ashaka came to the Nursery as a tiny calf rescued by KWS having been stricken in water and abandoned by her herd close to a place called Manyani in Tsavo National Park. She grew up together with Kamok in the Nursery, both tiny little calves of a similar age, and they have shared next door night stables all this time. Kamok has grown into a strong robust calf but over the months we have become increasingly concerned by Ashaka's lack of growth. She was always an incredibly picky feeder and if we added supplements to her feed she would reject it, and this was the constant battle we had with Ashaka. None of this could have prepared us for the rapid decline in recent weeks, which began by excessive and frequent loose stools in early April. Despite numerous tests it never became clear what her problem actually was.
Ashaka died early morning of the 17th of April. A totally unexpected turn of events which has been heartbreaking for everyone particularly given that we have loved and nurtured her for such a long time and felt sure we were through those fraught infancy months. An autopsy was immediately performed revealing that Ashaka's liver was compromised. Numerous samples have been taken in the hope that we can glean some answers and learn why Ashaka's liver was in such a state. What we do feel sure about is that Ashaka has been plagued with a chronic problem for some time, because as the others grew around her it amplified that something was insidiously wrong, but the reasons for this remained unclear for us until the end. So little is known about the diseases in elephants, and this is another mystifying situation that has confused even the Vets. She will be sorely missed by all. RIP little Ashaka.