My Region: US
During the late evening of Saturday 27th June 2009, a yearling female calf was found all alone by our De-Snaring Team near the Mombasa Pipeline opposite the Ndara plains in Tsavo East National Park. There were no wild elephant herds in sight, and since there were also a lot of lions in the area, our Voi Elephant Keepers were alerted that a rescue was imminently needed to save the life of this calf who probably would not survive another night out alone.
Baby elephants definitely cannot survive without milk if orphaned under 3 years of age, and few manage to survive even when orphaned between 3 and 5 years of age. Whilst wild living elephants will usually accept and protect an orphaned baby to the best of their ability, once the orphan weakens as a result of milk deprivation, and begins to jeopardise the survival of the herd, the matriarch has to make the decision to abandon it to its fate in the interests of all the others under her leadership. There are very few, if any, elephants that will have to lactating capacity to nurture an orphan as well as their own calf, especially during a tough dry spell, and calves at foot themselves are extremely possessive of their mother’s milk bar, and will go to great lengths to prevent another from usurping what they view as their prerogative.
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.
14 years old
27 June 2009
Tsavo Ecosystem, Tsavo East NP
Date of Birth (approximate)
3 July 2008
Age at Rescue
11 months 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
In an Ithumba first, Milo was born just outside the stockades on the morning of 29th October 2022. Despite being a drought baby, he is very healthy and unusually large. Melia, who is a first-time mum, is taking this new chapter in stride. She is ably supported by her friends, including Loijuk, Sities, Kalama, and Olare. (Photos 1 - 3 copyright Andrew Stewart) Read more
Melia and Milo
Melia with Milo
Malkia with Milo and Melia
Melia and little Milo
Melia with the orphans
Melia and Tumaren