At around 4pm on the 11th August a call was received about a tiny newborn elephant calf discovered by KWS personnel in the Kwale area outside of the Shimba Hills National Park. The elephant calf was stranded, hungry and visibly stressed when it was first found walking along the Kwale-Kinango road near the Mwadabawa junction, later seeking comfort under an abandoned truck which obviously felt like Mum.
The KWS team under the direction of Warden Philemon Chebet captured the calf immediately and contacted the DSWT for further support and to get the baby airlifted to Nairobi. With the onset of nightfall the Nairobi rescue team could not be deployed until the following day, so the calf was cared for at the KWS headquarters over night. The following morning the Assistant Warden and Honoree Warden Mr. Peter Zaneeti met the Nairobi rescue team who arrived to collect the calf and take it into their care.
Originally because he was so tiny it was thought he was new born and a plasma drip was administered to this vulnerable male calf in an attempt to ensure his immune system was boosted, but now that a few weeks on he has begun to teeth is would suggest that he was between 3 to 4 weeks on arrival. Despite being an incredibly vulnerable newborn calf, Kinango as he has since been named, has been taking his milk with enthusiasm from his keepers and is very much a treasured and precious part of the Nairobi Orphans group, pampered by all the older elephants. Since the calfs discovery KWS discovered poaching in the area, that would suggest that the reason for the calf's abandonment could well be poaching, or possibly human wildlife conflict. Despite loosing condition through the initial teething process, Kinango has been recovering well, despite needing constant attention from his dedicated Keepers. He has very much attached himself to one of the Nursery bulls called Orwa who is very lenient when Kinango shows his affection by suckling his underbelly for hours on end.