Sadly Balguda passed away on June 24th, 2016. He shall forever remain in our hearts

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Balguda's Story

A male calf, aged approximately 6-7 months old was first sighted by visitors wandering on his own below Aruba Dam in Tsavo East National Park. The calf was crying out, clearly distressed, in fact it was the calf's cries that first alerted visitors that something was seriously wrong. The visitors spent some time watching the desperate baby, and it was evident the calf was obviously abandoned and extremely vulnerable with no other elephants in the area. There was also and a pride of lions fairly close by.

Balguda's Story

The presence of the calf was reported to KWS and our Voi Elephant Keepers who rescued him at dusk on Friday 20th April 2012 just as it was growing dark. While the they could hear the baby's cries it took them close on an hour to actually locate the calf deep in the undergrowth. The orphan spent the first night at the Voi Stockades, pampered by the older orphans based there who made a great fuss of the tiny new arrival. He relaxed and settled down immediately, relieved to find his own kind once more.

The next morning, Saturday 21st April 2012, he was flown to the Nairobi Nursery. On arrival, having taken his milk well, and appearing strong despite being thin, he was allowed out to join the 20 other Nursery elephants that same afternoon and adjustments were made to the sleeping arrangements. He was given the name “Balguda”- the name of an area in the Park near to where he was rescued.

All went well when the new orphan first joined the resident Nursery elephants. He was welcomed very warmly by all the older females, until Ishanga decided to try and hijack the calf and have him all to herself. She approached him gently, lavished him with warmth and love and just when she had his undivided attention suddenly, as though fearful of something, rushed off at speed into the bush closely followed by the calf and another relative newcomer “Kanjoro”. A massive search for the truants ensued, which lasted a couple of anxious hours, until they were found and rounded up several kilometers away. This is the second time that Ishanga has tried trick like this with a new baby!

The calf's stools were black indicating that he had been alone for a while, and in desperation had been eating mud and dirt. After a couple of days he developed serious diarrhea and we were forced to give him a course of antibiotics which thankfully he responded to immediately. Despite having lost some condition he is now doing well, and is a dear little chap, a real favorite amongst the Keepers for his warm friendly nature, seemingly delighted to have an elephant family once more.

Date of Passing

24 June 2016



Rescued date

5 June 2012

Rescue Location


Date of Birth (approximate)

5 December 2011

Reason Orphaned


Age at Rescue

6 months old (approx)

Passed away

24 June 2016

Balguda's featured images

Balguda's Archival Updates

The Sad Death of Balguda

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Balguda returns to the Nairobi Nursery

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Elephant Killer finally jailed

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Balguda's Archival Photos

Balguda eating in the forest

Poor Balguda in his stockade

Oltaiyoni missing Balguda

Balguda browsing in the bush

Balguda resting in his stockade

Balguda near his keepers

Balguda browsing in the bush

Balguda not looking active this morning