Kauro came to the Trust on January to on the 30th of January after a report from Sera Conservancy via the Lewa Conservancy about a rescued elephant calf. This approximately 1 month old calf had fallen down a well in Sera, and was fortunate enough to be rescued in time, although not before a jackal or small predator had bitten the off the tip of his trunk.
Sera forms part of the rangeland of the Samburu, Borana and Rendille tribes in Northern Kenya. These communities are primarily pastoralists, but Sera has important populations of many wildlife species too, including elephants. It was one of the wells used to water livestock that this tiny calf fell into and was later found by Sera Rangers and casual workers involved in trying to establish a Rhino Sanctuary under the auspices of the Northern Rangelands Trust. Since it was already too late for a rescue plane from Nairobi, he spent the night at Kisima Hamisin before being driven to the Kauro Security Camp at Sera H.Q. the next morning, there to await the arrival of the rescue plane.
The DSWT rescue team was sent to Sera in northern Kenya where Samburu tribesmen waited with the tiny calf on the bush airstrip. They landed late morning, and the baby was first fed before being prepared for flight and loaded onto the Cessna Caravan readied for the one hour flight back to Wilson airport in Nairobi. Although very young, possibly only about two weeks old, he was a large calf, dwarfing the other babies in the Nursery, despite them all being older.
His damaged trunk was a challenge as not only was the tip severed altogether but he had a number of holes in his trunk from the predator’s teeth which were very painful. He also soon developed a terribly sore mouth, obviously from when he was rubbing against the rough well walls while trapped. It was not long before he succumbed to a bad bacterial infection from the effects of being submerged in water, but thankfully he pulled through his course of antibiotics and remained feeding well throughout this very difficult time, and slowly his wounds healed. Despite losing condition his healthy appetite ensured that he soon regained condition and very much became a part of our infant herd, pampered by tiny Kamok and Ashaka. Of course the older orphans love spending time with the babies, imparting warmth and love, but these infants become terribly hooked on their Keepers and Kauro was no different.
After about six weeks in the Nursery he began the dreaded teething stage, and this fraught time spanned a couple of months in Kauro’s case before his four first molars were safely through. Kauro had many challenges to overcome which is why we have taken so long to place him on the fostering program, but we sincerely hope he is now well on his way.