Our latest arrival was found having fallen down a valley along the Kerio-river by community members at a place called Cheptigit. The community members later informed The Kenya Wildlife Service security team based in the Rimoi Reserve who departed for the area in order to rescue her.
Although many elephants have been frequenting this region in this dry season and a herd had done so literally the night before, her poor condition indicated she has been without Mum for some time, as when rescued it was clear she was in an emaciated condition. The community had not seen her the previous day so the reason for her being in such poor condition remains a mystery, but we feel sure she was orphaned prior to falling into this valley. She was probably within the herd, but certainly not getting her mothers milk.
Both The Warden of Rimoi Mr. Dominic Kilonzo and Domnic Mjele the KWS vet seconded to the DSWT Mobile Veterinary Unit Mara communicated with ourselves about the rescue on the afternoon of the 31st March, and the plane with the team was immediately dispatched to the Kabarnet airfield, a flying time of 1 hours form Nairobi. The female calf was aged approximately 6 -8 months old and was in a worryingly weak condition by the time she arrived at the airstrip. Our team immediately placed her on a drip which she remained on throughout the flight and for much of the night. Once she arrived at the Nairobi Nursery at approximately 7.00pm she was able to get to her feet and feed, and suckled well, desperate for life giving milk and more rehydration fluids by mouth.
The newcomer was safely ensconced in the Nursery stable next door to Tano, who rumbled reassurance and love. This definitely had a calming effect on her and she seemed calm and relieved knowing she was being helped. She was named Kerio and her life was clearly hanging in the balance. Due to her very poor condition Kerio died the following day after her arrival at the Nursery.