This orphaned elephant calf was spotted by a tribesman in the South Turkana National Reserve at about 1 p
This orphaned elephant calf was spotted by a tribesman in the South Turkana National Reserve at about 1 p.m. on the 21st February 2011, at a place called Kainuk, the mother having died just moments before, her body still warm and her tusks still intact. There were no obvious evidence of bullet wounds so she could possibly have been a victim of drought since her calf was very emaciated, the cheekbones prominent and the cheeks sunken. This would suggest that the calf had not been getting sufficient milk to sustain health possibly due to the poor condition of the mother. The tribesman reported the presence of the dead elephant and its calf to the Head of Security and the Senior Warden of Mt. Elgon National Park who initiated the rescue of the orphaned calf and retrieved the ivory of its dead mother.
The calf - a yearling female - was transported back to the Mt. Elgon National Park Headquarters, where it was held overnight, and fed only water, the Warden having been warned about the danger of feeding a baby elephant cows milk since elephants are totally intolerant to bovine fat. She was flown to the Nairobi Nursery the next morning 22nd February 2011 and was named Kainuk- the name of the particular place where her mother died and where she became an orphan.
Although very stressed and wild, nevertheless the new orphan took some milk and water from a bottle. She had sufficient strength to give the Keeper in the stable with her quite a run around, but was very exhausted and slept well during the night, waking up at 3 hourly intervals to take her milk and push the Keeper around a bit more afterwards!