On the 2nd of November 2014, Teita Estate Anti Poaching scouts found a female Elephant calf all alone within the Teita Estate sanctuary. She was monitored for the day and it was noted that she was not part of any of the breeding herds currently passing through the sanctuary. The KWS authorities were alerted and they contacted The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust who responded immediately. The Teita Scouts tracked her through exceptionally dense bush together with the DSWT team for a good couple of hours but she was unable to be located. She was later seen that afternoon having joined a group of 4 bulls, disappearing once more into the bush. Night then fell.
At this time with the rains having broken there were as many as 400 Elephant within the sanctuary and it was hoped that the calf would find her family. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust sent an aircraft to fly the area extensively the following day to ensure she had not been abandoned again but had little success in locating her. Everyone hoped for the best thinking that she was reabsorbed with her lost herd and mother. A few days later it was reported that a lactating female Elephant had succumbed to poisoned arrow wounds, just a few hundred meters from the Teita Estate boundary on Mugeno Ranch. KWS had been called to remove her ivory. It was realized then that this was obviously the calf’s mother. Despite constantly being on the lookout this baby elephant was never sighted again until a month later.
On the 3rd December a lone elephant baby was again reported within the Teita Estate boundary. The ranch scouts followed her tracks and an hour or so later found her near the sanctuary’s main waterhole called Ndoria (meaning water from below in the Taita language). Again the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust were called and responded immediately. A DSWT team from Voi together with the Teita Sanctuary scouts captured the baby just as night was falling. By this time her condition was very poor. It was immediately evident that this was the same baby and everyone marveled how she had survived so long, because not only deprived of milk with her condition worsening, she was extremely vulnerable to predators.
Given her age Angela decided that it was in her best interests to be transported back the Voi stockades to be raised down with the older orphans in Voi, avoiding the Nursery altogether. We estimated the calf to be 2 ½ years old. She remained in the stockades for a good long time because with Emily and the ex orphans group visiting so frequently recently we knew she was vulnerable at being whisked away by them and what she need most was sustenance and milk. She immediately took to her bottle and soon tamed down fast. Her strength has increased over this time and the presence of the older orphans comforted her as she embraced the company and love of a welcoming group of older and nurturing elephants. Her lonely month without her lost mother must have been extremely frightening for her. Elephants are such social creatures and time alone and abandoned is the worst possible fate for a young baby. Her relief at being rescued was tangible. We are thrilled to be able to offer Ndoria a new beginning and she is now out with the others enjoying her days fun filled in the bush all day with a whole new family of elephants to once again feel a sense of belonging. She has grown to love her Keepers in the weeks since she was rescued and is a very loving and special little elephant who so tragically lost her mother to the ivory trade.