This calf was found alone near the Tsavo East National Park Headquarters at Voi, in May 1993, when about 8 months old. The name “Mpenzi” means “Darling” in Kiswahili. She was very dehydrated and weak, obviously having been without mother’s milk for many weeks. The older orphans were taken to her, and they immediately surrounded her affectionately, and walked her back to the Night Stockades as part of their group. She took to the bottle instantly, having taken her cue from the others, and was instantly fussed over and mothered by Malaika, who ‘adopted” her. When Mpenzi became part of Catherine’s wild herd, and Chuma went off with Taru, as young bulls will, Lissa, felt somewhat “dumped and returned to the Orphans group along with Mpenzi briefly, accompanying the still dependent orphans into the Stockades in the evenings to partake of the cut greens and Copra supplement handed out during dry seasons. Since then, however, Lissa has become independent of our orphaned group, and is sometimes seen with Catherine’s group, and at other times returns to spend time with the orphans, usually accompanied by Mpenzi and her two wild-born calves, the first of which arrived in January 1999 and the next in January 2004. Mpenzi has taken on the role of Nannie to Lissa’s two babies, and is extremely protective of them and even aggressive should humans venture too close for comfort. The birth of Lissa’s second calf which took place near the Orphans’ Stockades, was witnessed by our Keepers from the vantage point of a large rock. During the birth Lissa Mpenzi was in close attendance, along with some 50 very excited wild elephants. Lissa’s first calf is named “Lara” and the second, also a female, has been named “Lali”.
Important Note: Thank you for adopting and being part of the SWT family, it is important to note that your donation will help any orphan in need. Our orphans will need more than one adoptive parent.
29 years old
15 June 1993
Tsavo Ecosystem, Tsavo East NP
Date of Birth (approximate)
16 October 1992
Age at Rescue
7 months old (approx)
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Monthly water colour by Angela Sheldrick.
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Asante is Mwendi's second calf after her first was killed by lions. Her name means `thank you` in Swahili and she is the perfect older sister to Mpia
Arriving at the Voi Stockades at just a few weeks old, little Mpia (meaning `new`) was proudly paraded by her mother Mpenzi who was rescued as an orphan in 1993 at just under a year old. Mpia`s older sibling Asante is always nearby looking after her younger sister.
Mpenzi and her two calves
Mpenzi and her two calves having a drink
Mpenzi's new calf
Uaso left, Mpenzi & her calf
Mpenzi and her calf
A wild cow with Mpenzi and her calf
Mpenzi and her calf