On the 17th of November it was time for our second move this month, this time with three orphans destined for our Ithumba rehabilitation unit in northern Tsavo East
On the 17th of November it was time for our second move this month, this time with three orphans destined for our Ithumba rehabilitation unit in northern Tsavo East. Bongo, accompanied by two girls, naughty Laragai together with her friend Narok were the chosen three to be transported. Laragai had become quite a handful, very disobedient of her Keepers and always single-mindedly on her own mission. She had become a master at giving her keepers the slip and racing back from the forest to the stockades in order to scavenge for left over greens and Lucerne in the stables. Whenever she heard her Keepers coming in search of her she would take evasive action by hiding behind the blankets hanging on the washing line. This she did time and time again very effectively. There were of course other naughty escapades and she was fast corrupting some of the other more mellow elephants like Lima Lima so it was decided that Laragai would benefit enormously from some discipline from the older Ithumba orphans. Narok was ready to go, old enough to need more interaction with older elephants, whilst heading to better browsing fields as well.
Then Bongo, our headache. Lovely Bongo who arrived quite unexpectedly one night having been rescued from community lands on the slopes of Mount Kenya. His presence deep in rural lands had been reported for a couple of months, but every time KWS tried to locate him he was hard to find. He was eventually located and darted and anesthetized by the DSWT/KWS Meru Veterinary Officer Dr. Bernard Rono and loaded onto a land cruiser and driven to the Nursery. Dr. Bernard Rono appreciated that he was far too old to be in the Nursery and certainly old enough to live without milk, but he was concerned that he needed friends, and to dump him in protected areas alone would be unfair on him, so the decision was made to bring him to DSWT’s Nairobi Nursery. The fate of his lost herd has never been established.