On the Western side of Amboseli National Park about 1 km from the Tanzanian border, there is a deep watering well called the Lemoyian Well where the resident Masai cattle herders water their livestock
On the Western side of Amboseli National Park about 1 km from the Tanzanian border, there is a deep watering well called the Lemoyian Well where the resident Masai cattle herders water their livestock. The whole area is known as Lemoyian, named many years ago after a prominent Masai family.
During the night of the 8th October a great deal of commotion was heard by some of the local community members at the well. Upon further investigation it was obvious that the noise during the night was a mother elephant desperately trying to save her calf that had fallen down the well. A local community member and livestock owner named Muterian Ole Saboti, who had found the mother and calf at sunrise, reported the situation to the Amboseli Research Station first thing in the morning of the 9th when the mother elephant was still at the well struggling to free her calf. Yet sadly herds of cattle began streaming into the area in order to drink from the well, forcing the mother to abandon her calf, but Muterian stayed with the baby until help arrived, having managed to singlehandedly chase-off a group of local youths from spearing the calf.
Officials from the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) soon arrived at the scene and were assisted by community members in extracting the calf, before loading the orphan into a vehicle to be driven to the Amboseli Park airstrip, from where it was met by the DSWT rescue team and soon airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery. The calf, a beautiful baby bull who was about 3 months of age on arrival, arrived at the Nursery by 5pm and has since been named Lemoyian. We feel for the mother elephant who is obviously grief-stricken having lost her calf, and we are incredibly saddened that this orphan could not have been reunited with his family, but since the well is very close to an international border, and the mother could well have crossed into Tanzania, it was not an option for the rescuers to attempt to reunite the family.