During one of our Chyulu Desnaring Team’s routine patrols on the 18th of August 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' and managed to extract the calf assisted by the community. We chose to name the calf “Chyulu” (Pronounced Chulu) since it is the first elephant rescued in the newly created Chyulu 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 l0 days ago, and it is believed that this could be the mother of the calf.
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15 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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Monthly water colour by Angela Sheldrick.
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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.
Orphans in the Chyulu area
Quanza and Murera with friends in the Chyulu Hills
Quanza in the Chyulu Hills
Mwashoti in the Chyulu area
Orphans heading up the Chyulu Hills
Faraja walking to the Chyulu Hills
Chyulu with Cheka
Murera in Chyulu Hills