13th October 2010, the day that the 33 Chilean Miners were rescued from the bowels of the earth, beautiful little Naisula was also rescued, an orphan from the Archers’ Post Area close to Samburu National Reserve, an area where the Chinese road constructions works are based, and which has seen a great deal of Ivory Poaching of late. The KWS men who rescued her drove the calf to Lewa Downs, the closest airstrip and the rescue plane and Keepers arrived there in the late afternoon.
For us, she was, indeed, another miracle because as an orphan nearer two years old than one, she was friendly and trusting of the Keepers right from the very start, whereas most elephant orphans of her age, and especially those that originate in an area where elephants have been so badly persecuted by humans, want to exact revenge. However Naisula was different. From the moment of her arrival she accepted milk frist from a bucket and later from a hand-held bottle, slept that night with the Keeper beside her, and woke up in the morning to be welcomed into the fold by all the other orphans who came to the Gate of her Stockade to greet her. The following day, having been de-wormed, she was out and about with all the other Nursery elephants, instantly forming a strong bond of friendship with another Nursery newcomer named Kitirua who is also grieving for her lost elephant family and came into our care shortly before Naisula. They have become absolutely inseperable which is heartwarming to see.
Naisula’s name is a beautiful Samburu girl’s name, chosen by our Keepers, who were so impressed by her gentle and friendly disposition. It means a victorious girl. She has distinctively large eyes shaded by long lashes – eyes that are far bigger than usual and lashes that are far longer than normal. She is, indeed, a remarkable and beautiful elephant who, only two days after coming in as a wild orphan, was at the noon mudbath amongst all the others, watched by hundreds of spectators, which she must have found very alarming, but did not display anxiety, although she was careful to be in the midst of all the others.
Whilst Naisula has been warmly welcomed into the Nursery fold by Olare and Suguta, the two Mini Nursery Matriarchs, Melia and Murka have not been so accommodating, resentful because she and Kitirua now occupy the stockades they were once in!