On the 30th of January we received news of a baby elephant trapped in a well, this time in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the very same area where Sinya was rescued. The area is community lands close to the Tanzanian border just outside of the Amboseli National Park. The calf was found early that morning by two Masaai men, she had obviously slipped down the steep side while her herd watered that night. Fortunately the well had little water in it, but the sides were too steep for her to escape from, and impossible for her mother and herd to be able to save her. The two who happened upon the stricken calf reported her to the Kenya Wildlife Service Amboseli gate rangers who in turn reported it to the Amboseli Elephant Research Project. No elephants were sighted in the area at that time.
News concerning the calf was then reported to us at the Trust by Solia from the Amboseli Elephant Research Project. While we prepared for the rescue and arranged a flight to Amboseli their field personnel were able to extract the baby and drive it to the closest airstrip by which time our team of Keepers were waiting, with rehydration fluids, milk and the all important anti biotic injection in hand.
On the Amboseli airstrip the calf was fed, and later prepared for the flight. All the while her two Masaai rescuers were very much part of proceedings and eager to see her saved, and helping load her onto the waiting aircraft.
She is a chubby and healthy looking little calf of about three months old. We called her Mawenzi as it seemed appropriate to name her after one of the peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the majestic mountain in whose shadow she was born. Once at the Nairobi Nursery she soon latched onto the other two little orphans in the nursery, Suguta and Ndii, who continue to take a great interest in her. She has terrible bruising on her back where she must have rubbed raw while trying to extract herself, but other than that she seems in good condition. We hope and pray her bruising does not turn into the suppurating wounds that Sinya, who shared the same fate, had to endure. Clearly she misses her elephant family enormously, but it is amazing the calming influence the other nursery orphans have on the new babies, and Mawenzi is no exception.