On the 9th August Angela Sheldrick was contacted by Mark Goss regarding an orphaned elephant calf rescued by KWS and the Mara Elephant Project Scouts. At that time the calf was being transported in the back of a landcruiser to the Masai Mara Kichwa Tembo airstrip to await the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust rescue team. She was found abandoned in the Dupoto area in the transmara, a large forest on top of the escarpment.
The community found the elephant calf near a boma without her mother and alerted the Mara Elephant Project. The MEP rapid response team then brought her to Kichwa for collection. The flight from Nairobi to the Masai Mara is forty five minutes and the team came well prepared with milk and all the paraphernalia required for transporting the calf efficiently and effectively. In no time she was prepared for the journey to the Nairobi Nursery.
The reason for her being orphaned remains a mystery as a carcass had not been located in this area for over two months, and she could not have possibly survived that time without a mother at just five to six months old as a very much milk dependent calf.
We named her Dupotto after the area where she was found. Once she arrived at the Nairobi Nursery she settled and began feeding well from the outset, and very fortunately did not struggle to assimilate the new milk formula. Her road has been relatively smooth physically, but Dupotto’s scars are emotional ones. She has behaved very strangely, clearly suffering psychologically from events that befell her by being excessively restless and agitated. While she was part of the junior herd she fast became a disruptive member in the group. Then she discovered Embu, rescued four days before, an older orphan of approximately 18 months old who was retrieved from the forested slopes of Mount Kenya on the Embu side of the mountain by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
Dupotto immediately became emotionally dependent on Embu, sharing their grief both have been able to impart comfort and understanding to each other. To this day they remain firm friends. Dupotto is settling and her strange restless behavior is now much improved.