A female calf of about 1 year old was first seen on the l8th February 2013, thought to be an orphan of recent poaching that had taken place within Laikipia West. The calf was then reported to have turned up in the grounds of Loisaba lodge two days later on the 20th and her presence was immediately reported to the lodge management by the gardener.
The calf, who was very thin and clearly distressed, was restrained by the lodge staff whilst a call was made to the rescue team at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi and a rescue plane was organized. Once the DSWT team was on their way the calf was transported to Loisaba airfield where she was taken care of by Joanna Silvester whilst awaiting the arrival of the plan. During this time the calf was given a rehydrate mixture and three buckets of water to keep her hydrated pending the arrival of the plane some 3 hours later. On arrival the rescue team assessed the orphans situation and decided to put her on life support for the plane journey, also giving her prophylactic Nuroclav to guard her against pneumonia and a little Stresnil to lessen the trauma.
The calf was thin and was passing runny pink stools upon arrival at the Nursery, clearly having been browsing during her abandonment on the invasive Prickly Pear plant, which can prove very poisonous. However, she took milk from a hand-held bottle and was warmly welcomed by the 20 resident Nursery elephants, all of whom crowded around her stockade rumbling their greetings. She was given the name Lima Lima, which is the name by which Loisaba Lodge is known.
Since settling into her new life at the Nairobi Nursery Lima Lima has been understandably mourning for her lost family and has been unsure and nervous of her new human keepers. Having joined the other orphans out in the forests of Nairobi National Park over the last couple of days Lima Lima has been secluding herself from both elephants and humans, choosing to be alone with her grief, which is sad but natural behaviour for an older orphan who has been through such trauma. Despite Lima Limas self-isolation, the rest of the orphan family are not giving up on her and continue to shower her in love and affection in an effort to remind her she is not alone. Within a few more days she will become more accepting and happier as she settles down, whilst we hope she will continue to put on weight and regain her strength.