During one of our Chyulu Anti-Poaching Team’s routine patrols, on 18th August 2006, in the Kibwezi forest, they came across a tiny elephant calf of about 5 months old stuck in a drying waterhole on the boundary with the community in an area called 'Kithasyo'. With the assistance of people from the local community, they managed to extract the calf. We chose to name the calf 'Chyulu' (Pronounced Chu-lou) since it is the first elephant rescued in the newly created Chyulu Hills National Park, created to try and preserve the indigenous forests that clothe the Chyulu Hills abutting Tsavo West National Park. The waterhole in question is often frequented by elephants, since it is the last to dry during the dry season making it a hot-spot for poaching, which is rife in the area. A female elephant was, in fact, found poached some 10days ago, and it is believed that this could be the mother of the calf.
The baby was easily secured, and although thin, was still quite strong. Since it was too late to organise an airlift to the Nairobi Nursery, the calf was driven to our Voi Stockades, in the nearby Tsavo East National Park, where she was given rehydration salts and milk, and the usual prophylactic antibiotic injection. He was kept safe and warm here, in the care of our Keepers, for the night. By the second milk feed, amazingly, she had calmed right down, realising that the humans that surrounded her now were not the same as the hostile community members that had killed her mother, but friends that offered her milk and protection.
Important Note: Thank you for considering an adoption. Each orphan needs more than one foster parent: your adoption donation will be processed by the SWT UK and Kenya to help all the orphans in our care.
17 years old
18 August 2006
Tsavo Ecosystem, Chyulu Hills
Date of Birth (approximate)
5 May 2006
Age at Rescue
3 months old (approx)
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On the morning of 18th December 2020 we caught our first glimpse of the latest baby to be born to one of our now wild-living orphans, when 14-year-old Chyulu proudly brought her new calf, a little bull, to meet her human family in Ithumba, Tsavo East . Flanked by many attentive nannies, themselves all ex orphans now living wild, this little one has been named Cheka, which means ‘laugh’ in Swahili. An apt name given the fanfare of joy and excitement surrounding the Ithumba stockades when we, and the dependent orphans in our care, met him for the first time.
Chyulu's second baby was special, in that he was a complete surprise! Although she has been a regular visitor to Ithumba this year, we never suspected she was pregnant. We were shocked and delighted when she appeared on 29th November 2023 with a brand new little boy in tow. Read more.
Chyulu leading her family
Baby Siku, Chyulu and little Charli
Chyulu nursing Charli
Chyulu and Cheka leaving the mud bath
Chyulu and Cheka
Cheka and Chyulu
Chyulu, Cheka and Roho