Mpenzi's Story

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”.

Mpenzi's Story

Adopt Mpenzi for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.

Important Note: Thank you for adopting and being part of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust family. It is important to note that your donation will help any orphan in need. Our orphans will need more than one adoptive parent.

Adopt Mpenzi for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.

Important Note: Thank you for adopting and being part of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust family. It is important to note that your donation will help any orphan in need. Our orphans will need more than one adoptive parent.

Current age

26 years old

Gender

Female

Rescued date

15 June 1993

Rescue Location

Tsavo Ecosystem, Tsavo East NP

Date of Birth (approximate)

16 October 1992

Reason Orphaned

Poaching

Age at Rescue

7 months old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Mpenzi'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 Mpenzi the gift of life by adopting today.

Mpenzi's Calves

Meet Mpenzi's wild born offspring.

Unnamed

Female

Mpenzi's first calf sadly passed away shortly after birth, when she was attacked by a pride of lions.

Asante

Female

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

Mpia

Female

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.

Latest updates featuring Mpenzi

Updates: For Once a Happy Story - Another Baby for Ex Orphan Mpenzi - Mpia

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Updates: Lissa's 4th wild born baby

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Updates: Mulikas First wild Born Baby - Mwende (the Loved One)

Read more

Mpenzi's Latest Photos

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 browsing

Mpenzi and her calf