Published on the 21st of August, 2019
While we knew her problem was blood parasites, evident from the blood slides, Dupotto failed to respond to the treatments we administered and she steadily went downhill. This has been our struggle for nearly two years. Towards the end Dupotto refused to feed, only taking milk from time to time. Her poor body condition only escalated the problem and the truth is we never really made positive headway. It was a steady and slow decline and while we would have periods of great hope, they would soon be erased by a turn for the worse.
It is hard to lose an elephant at any stage, but when one has spent years together and gone through so much to reach this point it makes these moments even more difficult. She was always an unusual elephant, Dupotto, with her little foibles, but circumstance certainly played a large part her demise. It all began when she ran away with Kelelari and Karisa (more like kidnapped by Kelelari) that fateful day soon after the trio arrived at our Ithumba Reintegration Unit in 2017, disappearing for over three months despite our herculean efforts to locate them.
The group was finally found months later in the company of wild elephants, over 70 kilometres away, by one of our SWT/KWS De-Snaring Teams while on an anti-poaching patrol. We were forced to intervene and bring Dupotto home to Ithumba, concerned for her health given her poor body condition at that time. She quite simply has never been right since then, so eventually we resorted to bringing her back to the Nairobi Nursery in June of this year, hopeful that, with the laboratories close by and Vets on-hand, we could save her.
Regrettably despite all of this we were eventually defeated and Dupotto faded away, but one thing we can be sure of is that it was not through lack of trying. She passed away in the presence of her ever-watchful loving Keepers, hopefully comforted in the knowledge that she was loved until the very end.
We are so sorry to have to share such distressing news - and wish it were different. Rest in Peace, Precious Girl.