The rescue of Kalama

At 6 a

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At 6 a.m. early during the morning of 30th May 2009, in the Kalama area, near Archer’s Post in Samburu district, 4 Samburu tribesmen (namely Iritek Likilwai, Malaria Lemramba, James Lemoyok and Temeriwas Lesankurikuri) visited what is known as “The White Well” (Ikwasi Oibor) , and discovered that a baby elephant had fallen in during the night and was standing chest-high in water at the bottom.   They managed to extract the calf, which was a baby female aged about 4 - 5 months.   The Kalama Conservancy Chairman, Mr. Daniel Lolosoli was notified and he came with 4 Kalama Game Scouts to recce the area, hoping to find the mother of the baby, but there was no sign of any adult elephants nearby.   He and the Kalama Scouts (Samson Lenamunyi, the Community Ranger Sani Lenapangae, Marianlo Lenawala and Mpapa Lelesera) loaded the little elephant into the back of their Pickup truck driven by Steven Maina and drove it to the nearby airfield, to await the arrival of the Rescue Plane sent by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

The baby elephant was fed milk and rehydrant by the Trust’s Keepers before being airlifted to Nairobi lying with its legs bound on the rescue tarpaulin in the back of the Caravan aircraft.   She arrived in the Nursery at 4 p.m. and was named “Kalama”.   She was in good condition, and very calm, following the Keepers, so she was taken into the bush to join the other small Nursery babies for the rest of the afternoon.   However, she was very restless and psychologically disturbed during the night, attempting to climb the stable partition, and calling continuously for her elephant mother.   By dawn the next day, she was much calmer and more resigned to the circumstances in which she now found herself.   Being a well victim, she need to undergo a long course of injectible antibiotic to forestall the dreaded pneumonia, but unlike many of the others who arrived severely emaciated, this calf had some reserves so we are hopeful that she will thrive.