Ziwa has not thrived since his translocation to Ithumba. Infact his continued decline and weakness reached a point where he was too weak to get to his feet on the 17th of September and required an IV drip. A decision was immediately made to fly him back to Nairobi. Ziwa is now a big elephant, absolutely the maximum size to be placed in the Cessna Caravan aircraft and it was felt that by getting him back to Nairobi while the opportunity remained we could monitor his care and run regular blood tests to work towards a better understanding of his problem.
A team of experienced Keepers from Nairobi flew down early morning to join the Ithumba Keepers in preparing Ziwafor his journey back. He was given stressnil, laid on the canvas stretcher and his legs tied. Then the Herculean task of loading him was undertaken with the pilot looking on closely to ensure that all parameters were in order. Of course it was sad for Ziwa to leave his orphan friends, and wild friends too, but he was returning to many more, and once in Nairobi he was placed into his old stockade which he remembered immediately. He seemed completely settled and calm and absolutely made a pig of himself on the soft green vegetation that Nairobi offered thanks to the recent rains, a delicious change from the dry grewia of Ithumba in the peak of the dry season. The next day he was out with the others like an old hand, familiar with all the Nursery routines, infact it was as if he never left!