Icholta's Story

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.

Icholta's Story

Like all the infants her beginning was fraught, and she became very emaciated cutting her first molars in the Nairobi Nursery, and we were fearful that she might not be able to pull through, but thankfully she did. Amazingly Icholta right from the get go had a passion for water and savored her mud baths, which is unusual given the reason for her being orphaned in the first place.

A very friendly and loving character, with a beautiful face, charming disposition and deep brown eyes fringed with long lashes; a great favorite with all the other elephants as well as her Keepers, Icholta was part of the Nursery eight that all arrived around a similar time, stars of the Geri Ellis book called Wild Orphans. Some of her Nursery mates from infancy were Laikipia, Lolokwe and Edie who to this day remain by her side.

Adopt Icholta for yourself or as a gift.

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.

Adopt Icholta for yourself or as a gift.

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.

Current Age

22 years old

Gender

Female

Rescued date

1 September 1999

Rescue Location

Northern Kenya, Marsabit National Reserve

Date of Birth (approximate)

1 August 1999

Reason Orphaned

Stuck in mud

Age at Rescue

1 month old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Icholta'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 Icholta the gift of life by adopting today.

Icholta's Calves

Meet Icholta's wild born offspring.

Inca

Male

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.

Izzy

Female

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.


Latest updates featuring Icholta

Edie Becomes a Mother of Four

Read more

Motherhood: The Next Step in Kilabasi’s Journey

Read more

Our 45th Year Begins With 45th Wild-Born Baby

Read more

Icholta's latest photos

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