The male orphan elephant calf was first seen alone on the 25th of August 2014 while coming to drink at the Galana River on Galana ranch. The calf stayed close to the river bank where several herds of wild elephant came and went, but all constantly investigating the little baby. The calf tried several times to join these wild herds but they rejected the little elephant every time making him feel even more abandoned and desperate. Several hours passed with no sign of the calf’s mother.
The Galana Conservancy scouts saw the calf disappear into a nearby bushy area and hoped for the best. He was however sighted the following day desperately looking for water; staying it the area for over two hours while taking refuge from the merciless hot sun by resting under an acacia tree. He looked thin and drawn and cut a tragic figure and it was clear he would not survive without intervention.
The Galana scouts who had been observing the elephant calf established that he was definitely alone and the mother was quite clearly not coming back. The fate of the mother was never confirmed but poaching has been bad in this area so he is suspected to be a poaching victim. The ranch management contacted KWS and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust who got a rescue underway. The Voi Keepers were the closest so it was decided to send a team from there to assess the situation. On arrival the DSWT rescue team went into the conservancy and found the scouts already there, keeping a close eye on the calf. What was the challenging part was that the elephant was on a river bank, so trying to catch snd restrain him and move him was extremely difficult. Once the elephant was finally caught the rescue team headed back to Voi, however evening was approaching quickly so most of the drive to Voi was in the dark. The elephant was named Bada after the Orma word for a place of bush, as the elephant was located in a very bushy area.
Bada had no external injuries except a single bruise. He was very dehydrated as he had obviously been without his family for quite some time. He responded well to milk on the second day and enjoyed his grewia branches. The decision was made to raise him in Voi given that he was clearly already over two years old.