On the 8th of Oct 2011, a young orphaned elephant calf was reported alone on Galana Ranch, just outside of Tsavo East National Park’s eastern boundary. This report was made by management of Kulalu camp Poaching in this area has been particularly bad this year, with a number of elephants, and some beautiful big tuskers, being poached for their ivory now that ivory is commanding such high prices. With the poachers now earning as much as a US$ 100 a kilo from the Middle Men, when just a couple of years ago the price was US$ 10 a kilo. If Africa’s elephants are to be saved the demand for ivory has to be eliminated within its far eastern destinations, and only will a total ban on the sale of all ivory and ivory products, whether legal or illegal, will stem the slaughter. Impoverished communities living alongside National Parks cannot resist temptation of this nature. And so Emsaya’s mother more than likely met this fate, killed so that her tusks could be calved into a decorative ornament, or hanko. If it were not for the people that spotted her, and reported her fate, and for both the KWS and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust teams that helped save her, she too would have been the ivory demand’s collateral damage. Poaching ravages elephant society.
It took a number of days before she tamed down, and for her to get used to the milk, but with the loving attention of both the Keepers and the older orphans, she began to understand very quickly the routine and that not all people were the enemy. Emsaya did not arrive into our care quite as weak as Kivuko had a few days previously, and so regained her strength quickly. She and Kivuko are now very much part of the Voi orphans group, and follow the Keepers and older orphans trustingly. United in their loss they are forming a very special relationship with Lesanju, Lempaute, Sinya, Kenia, Wasessa, infact all the females that make up the Voi unit making a fuss of them too, so they very much have the balm of love once more back in their lives.