Early in the morning on the 17th August the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trusts Burra anti-poaching/desnaring team received information from the Kenyan Wildlife Service that a number of tour drivers had reported sightings of an abandoned elephant calf on the Voi river circuit in Tsavo East National Park. Our team along with Keepers from our Voi Unit immediately went to investigate and soon found the calf still alone, with no elephants in the area. The calf was older than expected, estimated 3 years old, but, in a place like Tsavo, incredibly vulnerable to predators. Her condition still looked good, and the fate of her family and mother until today remains a mystery. The team closely observed the calf for some hours and while waiting for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trusts Mobile Veterinary unit (funded by Vier Photen) to arrive on the scene she unexpectedly ambled close to the road. Spontaneously, despite the Veterinary team not being on site yet, the time seemed right for the Keepers to over power her in order to transport her back to the orphan stockades and the comfort of our older orphans and of course for her to have the benefit of supplementary feeding. Orphans two and under cannot live without their mothers milk, and calves orphaned three years old and under seldom survive unless the conditions are incredibly favorable. This young females chances of survival seemed slim with Tsavo presently in the height of the dry season, and at the mercy of the Tsavo lions without the protection of older elephants by her side. Julius bravely led the charge towards the calf but very quickly she overpowered him and had him pinned on the ground but fortunately, while bruised badly, he suffered no serious injuries, but the whole incident detracted from the rescue at hand and the calf fled into the dense undergrowth of the Voi River, and the Keepers scattered in all direction. Shortly there after the Mobile Veterinary unit arrived and continued to monitor the calf's movements while Julius was whisked off to a nearby hospital to be sure he had not suffered any further injuries aside from the obvious bruising.
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.
15 years old
17 August 2007
Tsavo Ecosystem, Tsavo East NP
Date of Birth (approximate)
30 August 2004
Man-made cause for separation
Age at Rescue
2 years old (approx)
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
Orphans browsing on the slopes of Msinga Hill
Ngilai at the foot of Msinga Hill
Orphans browsing on Msinga Hill
Kihari on the rocks on Msinga Hill
Kenia browsing on Msinga Hill
Ndotto on Msinga Hill
Ndoria on Msinga Hill
Mashariki on Msinga Hill