Estimated to have been between 2 - 6 weeks old when orphaned, and therefore born in August 1999, this little female elephant, comes from far-off legendary Marsabit Mountain, where a once beautiful mist forest harbouring many endemic plants and birds today struggles to survive the depredation of a burgeoning human population. Icholta was rescued from the mud of a drying waterhole of that name, where she was bogged and abandoned by her herd who were unable to risk venturing in to pull her free. She was minute for her age, with soft fuzz on her head and body, but also with good coordination, so we guessed her to be older than she looked.
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.
24 years old
1 September 1999
Northern Kenya, Marsabit National Reserve
Date of Birth (approximate)
1 August 1999
Stuck in mud
Age at Rescue
1 month old (approx)
Personalised adoption certificate.
Monthly email update on your orphan and the project.
Monthly watercolour by Angela Sheldrick.
Access to special content; latest Keepers' Diaries, videos and photos
On 22nd January 2016, Voi Head Keeper, Joseph Sauni, was delivering the midday milk feed for the dependent orphans when he spotted a group of elephants resting under the shade of a tree. Among them was ex orphan Icholta, who had given birth to a perfect little boy whom we have named Inca. Inca is Icholta’s first calf and he’s fortunate to have found a very attentive nanny in ex orphan Mweya. Read more.
Our 45th year here at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust began on a very special note. On the morning of 2nd January 2022, Edie and Mweya’s ex orphan herd arrived at Voi. They had been away for nearly a year, so the Keepers had been eagerly anticipating what seems to be their annual pilgrimage “home.” They were delighted to find Icholta in their midst, who hadn’t been seen since February 2019. By her side was her firstborn, Inca, who is now nearly six years old — along with a tiny, days-old addition! Icholta had just given birth and, as has become a time-honoured tradition among our ex orphan mothers, promptly returned home to introduce her newborn to the people who raised her. We have named the baby, who is a lovely little girl, Izzy. Read more.
Ex-orphans Mweya, Edie and Icholta with babies
Mwitu, Icholta, Eco, Inca, Eden and Edie dinking
Icholta with her babies
Icholta, Inca, Thor and Thoma arrive at the stockades
Icholta leading stockade orphans to browse
Icholta arriving at the stockade
Stockade dependent orphans follow Icholta
Icholta scratching her bottom