An orphan calf was first spotted from the air alone late evening of the 4th of July and her position report to KWS and DSWT’s chief pilot. It was too late in the day to do anything a search was coordinated for the following morning On Saturday the 5th Nick Trent flew to help provide aerial support for the Voi elephant keepers who were searching the area where she was spotted that previous evening. Despite everyone’s best efforts she was not sighted again. They continued to comb the area the following day still without luck. Then by chance clients flying into Satao Camp on Monday the 7th of July sighted the calf from the air, still alone and clearly weak and thin and alerted the camp reception staff who immediately called Joseph Sauni who heads the DSWT Voi Relocation Unit. The Voi Keepers were able to find her and rescue her.
Angela in the meantime coordinated a plane to take off from Nairobi at 4.00pm to fly to Satao in order to collect her to bring her back to the safety of the Nairobi Nursery. The Voi team was waiting at the airstrip as dusk fell. The calf was recumbent with her feet tied so on landing the Nairobi rescue team of Keepers proceeded to medicate her and place her on life support for the duration of the flight so that they could do a rapid turnaround. She was wrapped warm and loaded onto the waiting Cessna caravan. The team was back in the air in no time headed for the 1 hour 30 minute flight back to Nairobi, landing well after dark. She was loaded onto the waiting pickup and transported through the Monday night traffic back to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery in Nairobi National Park.
The young calf was placed into a stable with Suswa next to her for company, and the other Nursery orphans trumpeted and grumbled welcoming the newcomer into their midst. She got back to her feet, wobbly from the long flight but slowly gathered strength and began charging the keepers who had to take evasive action. She was a young female of about 18 months old, with tiny tusks just beginning to show but she hadd obviously been without her Mum for quite sometime and was extremely thin. Throughout the night she refused to take milk from the bottle, but at 4.00am began to drink alittle milk from a bucket. She then collapsed a number of times and blood works revealed she had a bacterial infection, and extremely low blood sugar levels. This we managed with medication and IV drips.
Having been without Mum for such a long time she was in extremely poor health with masses of worms in her stools, and terrible diarrhea that began the moment she consumed the milk. This eventually proved life threatening despite our best efforts and Kono very sadly slipped away on the early morning of the 10th July while still on life support and under close supervision.
She was called Kono, taking an Orma name from the area she was rescued.