Chemi Chemi's Story

It was Sunday 21st February 2010 at about midday when the Manager of Loisaba Ranch Mr. Tom Silvester, received word from his ranch staff that a baby elephant had been spotted alone on the border of the Ranch with the tribal lands inhabited by the notorious warlike Pokot tribe, who are certainly not known to be ele-friendly. There poaching, cattle rustling, and resolving tribal vendettas is rife for Pokotland is a region where the long arm of the law is largely non-existent. The poaching of elephants for ivory, plus the killing of them for no other reason than that they are wild animals is common place, and as a result of this human/elephant conflict also takes a heavy toll of any elephants passing through Pokot country, as they have over millennia.

Chemi Chemi's Story

The Ranch workers monitored the lone calf for the rest of the day, but there were no other elephants to be seen in the area, so as nightfall approached, Alistair Boyd, the manager of Loisaba lodge, decided to save the elephant baby. With the help of his Staff, he managed to overpower the calf, who was still sufficiently strong to put up a spirited struggle. However, once subdued and tied down, he was taken to the Ranch Headquarters, where he took water from a bucket, and was given an Attendant as company for the night. It must have been a pleasant surprise for the little elephant to find a human who was caring and friendly, who offered him greens and water, and communicated with him in a gentle voice. He responded, and calmed down.

At first light the rescue plane took off from Nairobi, armed with three Keepers, all the rescue paraphanalia, milk, rehydrants and the usual medicaton and headed for Loisaba in Laikipia district. The little elephant arrived in the Nursery ahead of Daphne, Angela and Robert, who were traveling by car from Tsavo at the time.

He was found near a small spring on the Ranch boundary, and was given the name “Chemi Chemi” which is the Swahili word for a Spring, since the Samburu or Pokot tribal name for a Spring was too difficult for most people to pronounce correctly. Little Chemi Chemi, or Chem Chem for short, who is approximately eight months old we think settled in instantly, especially when he found Melia next door to him. The very next morning he was allowed out to meet all 19 Nursery inmates, who embraced him instantly. From the start, he took milk from a bottle gratefully, attended the noon mudbath, which he enjoyed immensely, and clearly loved once again being part of an elephant herd, albeit one of miniatures. Olare, who has the makings of a very caring and proficient little Matriarch was, and is, exceedingly protective of him, and being of Northern elephant stock, where the population has been distilled until only the fittest have managed to survive, he will make a wonderful addition to our orphaned herd.

Little Chemi Chemi brings the Nursery herd back to 20 and is a very friendly and forgiving little elephant, for he must have witnessed much violence against his kind in the past, not least the possible slaughter of his elephant mother either from poaching or human/wildlife conflict.

Adopt Chemi Chemi for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.

Important Note: Thank you for adopting and being part of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust family. It is important to note that your donation will help any orphan in need. Our orphans will need more than one adoptive parent.

Adopt Chemi Chemi for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.

Important Note: Thank you for adopting and being part of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust family. It is important to note that your donation will help any orphan in need. Our orphans will need more than one adoptive parent.

Current age

10 years old

Gender

Male

Rescued date

22 February 2010

Rescue Location

Laikipia, Loisaba Ranch

Date of Birth (approximate)

18 June 2009

Reason Orphaned

Poaching

Age at Rescue

8 months old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Chemi Chemi's featured photos

Our digital adoption programme includes the following:

Personalised adoption certificate.

Monthly email update on your orphan and the project.

Monthly water colour by Angela Sheldrick.

Access to special content; latest Keepers' Diaries, videos and photos

Give Chemi Chemi the gift of life by adopting today.

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Chemi Chemi's Latest Photos

Chemi Chemi & Taita at the stockade compound

Chemi Chemi at the mud-bath

Chemi Chemi enjoying lucerne

Chemi Chemi with the orphans

Chemi Chemi

Kanjoro with Chemi Chemi

Chemi Chemi by the mudbath

Chemi Chemi