On the 22rd September 2011 a young elephant calf strayed into the grounds of Kiwanjani Lodge near the Kasigau massif within the Tsavo Conservation region between Tsavo West and East – an ancient migratory corridor between Tsavo East and West and a hotspot for both poaching as well as what is known as “problem animal control” since it is now populated by a human and very anti elephant community. Many orphans from this area come in with spear wounds and this calf was, sadly, no exception. Apparently, it had been seen attempting to attach itself to several wild herds, but had been repeatedly rejected, until in desperation it came to the Lodge in an emaciated condition seeking human protection and, hopefully, help. It was obviously an orphan, aged about 2 years, believed to be another poaching victim who had obviously been without its mother for some time. It had a deep arrow wound in the top of the trunk.
The Lodge Manager, who happened to have been a Trust Volunteer in the past, reported the presence of the orphaned calf to Dr. Poghorn, the KWS Vet attached to the Trust’s Mobile Veterinary Unit who alerted the Voi Elephant Keepers and the Trust’s anti-poaching Ziwani De-Snaring Team that a rescue was on the cards. Meanwhile the injured calf had disappeared into thicket, but was spotted again early in the morning of the 23rd
September, when the rescue was mounted.
To view a short clip of the rescue please click on the link below:
The Rescuers converged on the area where the calf had last been seen, and managed to locate and capture it. It was a young bull aged about 2 ½ years with short tusks, but weakened through milk deprivation. Once it’s legs were bound, the trunk wound which was deep and suppurating, was hurriedly cleaned and the calf given a long acting antibiotic before being driven to the nearest airfield to be airlifted to the Trust;s Nairobi Elephant Nursery. It arrived just after noon – a young 2 ½ year old who has been named “Kasiagau”.
Understandably, he was very aggressive, with sufficient strength to keep the Keepers at bay, but unable to rise from a recumbent position without help. He has yet to take milk, but is eating greens and has taken water. The next few days will determine whether this latest orphan will have a second chance of life.