The rescue of this yearling calf from the Ijara District of the Tana River proved to be one of the most challenging our team has ever undertaken
The rescue of this yearling calf from the Ijara District of the Tana River proved to be one of the most challenging our team has ever undertaken. The calf, a female, which had a hugely swollen back leg at the knee joint, had been spotted by a Kenya Police Reservist three weeks previously, who reported to the Ndera Conservation and Ishaqbini Conservation Management authorities. For 21 days he had been monitoring the calf with the help of conservancy rangers as they tried to find the mother, dead or alive. Having failed in this it was decided to contact the Community Development Manager of the Northern Rangelands Trust who got in touch with KWS on the 29th October, who then alerted The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that a Rescue was needed.
It was reported that the community were weary of capturing the calf themselves and so the Conservancy vehicle waited at the Masalani airstrip for the Rescue plane and our A Team (Abdi, Adan and Sammy) to arrive, accompanied by Tal Manor who went along to film the rescue. Conservancy Scouts had been diligently watching over the calf to ensure she was not lost, nor came to any harm, as the Pokomo people who cultivate along the Tana River do like their bushmeat. This rescue proved to be one of the most challenging of all time. Due to the torrential rains the previous day and the combination of black cotton soil the vehicle very quickly became hopelessly bogged in the mud. This delayed the rescue so much so that the aircraft and Tal Manor returned to Nairobi when it became clear that there was no way they would get to the calf before nightfall. Our Keepers, determined to rescue the calf, opted to remain behind, and eventually due to a Herculean effort from all concerned they managed to extract themselves late in the evening. After a couple of hours drive they found shelter for the night thanks to Yussuf Aden, the Manager of the Ishaqbini Conservancy.