Gunshots were heard during the evening of 13th April 2012 by the community of the Lpus-La-Mpasion area near Wamba in the Samburu tribal area of Northern Kenya. The next morning (14th) a severely wounded female Elephant with a calf at foot was spotted in the area, bullet wounds in the chest area and front legs had rendered her barely able to even move. Yet another victim of the ivory trade, and a grizzly reminder of the suffering attached to each piece of ivory that is sold and bought. Her end was a painful one, full of suffering, and her calf would have been a victim too had he not been one of the lucky few rescued.
The matter was reported to a KWS patrol within the area who summonsed the KWS Vet, Dr. Mutinda, to traveled to the scene to assess the injured mother. It turned out that the female elephant’s wounds were too severe for any hope of recovery, so having reported the matter to the Nairobi KWS Headquarters, it was decided that the mother be euthanized, and her calf saved and sent to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Nursery in Nairobi National Park. The calf had its last feed of mother’s milk at 9 a.m. before the cow was later laid to rest.
By 1.30 p.m. the DSWT Rescue Team landed at the nearby Kisima Airstrip, and waited the arrival of the KWS ground team and the young baby. KWS had a good distance to travel to bring the rescued calf to the closest airstrip and arrived about 30 minutes later with the tiny calf loaded in the back of a landcruiser pickup with the rangers holding him. After our keepers checked on his condition he was loaded into the aircraft in order to be airlifted back to the Nursery, arriving in the afternoon.
The baby, which was in good condition, approximately a two week old tiny bull still pink behind the ears and was given the name “Barsilinga” after the area close to where his mother met her grizzly end, just weeks after giving life to this precious baby.