Having just arrived back from Tsavo, Daphne and Angela Sheldrick received news from Tsavo that two orphaned Elephant calves were in need of rescue on that very day, Friday 20th July 2012. Both took place simultaneously. One was a lone calf of about 1 year old who had been sighted by the Electric Fence Maintenance team along a portion of the Nairobi Mombasa road behind the Voi Wildlife Lodge. The other had been alone since the 18th July on the Mgeno Ranch abutting Tsavo National Park.
By now, nightfall was setting in, and afraid that the calf would fall prey to predators, and having grown fond of their companion the maintenance team looked to be proactive and to initiate help for the calf. They phoned the KWS Community Officer, who, in turn alerted the Trusts Elephant Keepers based at the Voi Stockades, that a rescue was needed that night. Immediately the Rescue Team set out, equipped with all the usual paraphernalia, and the calf was successfully captured at 7.30 p.m. It was then driven to the Voi Stockades in the back of the Trust's Pickup, where it hungrily took some formula milk and water, and where it was comforted by resident orphans, Kenia and Ndii, who imparted love and assurance, laying their trunks on the back of the newcomer, and rumbling softly to calm it. The calf was a male, very emaciated, and exhausted, obviously having done a lot of walking since being orphaned. Meanwhile, the other orphaned calf from the Mgeno Ranch had already been rescued, and was at the Voi Stockades.
Bomani arrived at the Nursery bewildered and agressive towards the Keepers. It was not long though with the comforting rumbles of Tano, little Kithaka and Barsilinga that he soon realised that everyone was here to help him, and in just a few short hours he was taking milk comfortably from the bottle and sucking his keepers fingers. Bomani is an extremely tactile and loving calf, always standing close to his keepers, seeking their attention and love, and very shortly after his arrival it was difficult to comprehend that this loving little elephant had in fact been wild a day before. He was clearly desperate to be rescued and has embraced those who have brought him to safety and offered him a second chance.
There have been a number of elephants poached this past week on the adjacent ranches to Tsavo East, and these two calves are almost certainly poaching victims.