5pm on the 20th of July brought a call for Kerry Glen of Tumaren Ranch in Laikipia that a baby elephant had been seen by a dying mother, with no other elephants around
The decision was made to capture the calf, since the mother was obviously beyond recovery. Kerry Glen and Jamie Christian, along with the ranch workers captured the calf, fearing that it would not survive the death of its mother, since predators were prevalent on the ranch. It was taken to their home, where Jamie remained near the calf in an adjoining room all night, and the mother was euthanased. It was a sleepless and very disturbed ordeal, because the distraught baby, cried all night for her mother, and even tried desperately to climb through a window.
Following phone calls to KWS personnel, the calf was flown to the Nairobi Nursery on the 21st July 2009 arriving at noon. She was still strong and aggressive (a good sign denoting the will to live and the reserves to make an effort), but she soon calmed down once the other Nursery elephants were brought in to impart hope and encouragement. The other orphans gave her a warm welcome, and immediately she responded, turning into a very affectionate member of the herd, calm and friendly to both her elephant orphan peers and their human family.
We named the new arrival “Tumaren” to denote her origin. She is +/- 10 months old and becomes the 22nd member of our Nursery herd of mini orphans ever partaking of the mudbath along with the others. An enchanting addition to the group, popular with the other elephant orphans as well as her human admirers.