On Saturday 6th July members of the community near Kaluku, the DSWT field HQs, reported to the local DSWT anti-poaching foot patrol Unit that they had seen a lone baby elephant on the eastern shore of the Athi River for the past few days, inside of Tsavo East National Park.
Two days later the baby elephant had still not been seen and even with an aerial search in the DSWT Top Cub nothing was found. The teams began to lose heart that the baby had gone for good. The following day the team on the eastern bank picked up more human footprints and followed them to a new hideout. The gang had obviously left in a hurry as there was a hot fire, large quantities of food and more poison arrows, which were all confiscated. At 7am on the morning of the 11th of July the teams were out on patrol again and finally the baby elephant was sighted.
Quickly and efficiently the elephant was captured and secured with ropes and straps. They loaded the calf into their vehicle and called into the Trust's Kaluku HQ. The DSWT Nairobi Office was immediately informed and an aircraft was soon dispatched from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to collect the orphan who was by this time being transported across the river to the Kaluku airfield. Here he was laid under a tree for shade with a blanket while they waited for the team from Nairobi. The anti-poaching team members took it in shifts to look after him and give him water. He suckled their hands and fingers, already understanding that he was in good hands after his lonely ordeal. He appeared relieved to now have comfort and seemed to understand he was being helped. Soon the Cessna Caravan landed with the DSWT Nairobi rescue team on board. They quickly set to work in assessing the condition of the orphan and securing him, placing him on a saline trip ready for the hour flight back to Nairobi.
This new eighteen month old male has been named Garzi after the area in which he was found and after the hard efforts of many people he has been given a second chance at life. He will now find his place within the elephant orphan herd at the DSWT Nairobi Nursery in Nairobi National Park before he will be returned to Tsavo East National Park from where he belongs.