Ndara's Story

On Tuesday 25th September 2001 at 9.25 AM a message was relayed through KWS to DSWT that an elephant calf had fallen into an open water pipeline manhole near Maungu town, about 30 km South East of Tsavo East Park headquarters. A team of DSWT Keepers led by Dr. Samuel Kasiki immediately left to facilitate the rescue of this stricken calf. Arriving at the scene they found a group of curious villagers gathered around the hole all trying to comfort the helpless baby and by now terrified baby. It was learned from the residents that the calf fell into the hole the previous night when a herd of elephants had visited the area for a drink. Attempts by the mother, and perhaps other relatives, to were futile and the group left at the break of day. No elephants were seen any where close to the scene by early morning.When the team first arrived only the calf’s head was visible above the water and she was struggling to remain above the water. In trying to escape she had bruised her forehead, back and rump in the process. One of our Keepers squeezed into the hole and passed a soft belt rope under her chest and hind quarters, and with the help of the villagers, the calf was extracted from the breathe hole.

Ndara's Story

She was heavy, with little room for manoevering and it took nearly 45 minutes to extract her, after which she was loaded into the back of a Pick Up truck and immediately driven to the stockades for treatment of her wounds and by now much needed hydration and milk.

Other than the apparently superficial wounds on her body, the calf looked healthy and strong, and she settled down well under the attentive care of Malaika. We already had another elephant rescued from the same hole on the 22nd of June 2001 called Maungu, and Ndara from day one struck up a very close friendship with Maungu having had a similar fate. These two grew up together firm friends. Sadly Maungu died a number of year later from a clotted mass in her heart, caused we think from the injuries she sustained when she fell into this manhole years before. Later too Malaika died in childbirth so Ndara has known her fair share of heartbreak.

Ndara thankfully continued to thrive comforted by the remaining orphans and became and integral member of Emily's ex-orphan herd, and has found lasting friendships. Ndara once much older had a scare with a poisoned arrow injury, but with intensive care back at the stockades we managed to save her, and she instinctively knew that she needed to remain in the fold once again giving herself the time to recover. She required a number of operations over the months as the arrow had embedded in her joint. Remarkably Ndara made a full recovery over the span of many moons, and today has her own wild born baby Neptune! Her journey has been full of drama which is why seeing her so happy and such a lovely and attentive mother to her calf with the support of her orphan family is heartwarming indeed.

Adopt Ndara for yourself or as a gift.

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.

Adopt Ndara for yourself or as a gift.

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.

Current Age

20 years old



Rescued date

27 September 2001

Rescue Location

Tsavo Ecosystem, Taita Ranches

Date of Birth (approximate)

1 February 2001

Reason Orphaned

Man-made cause for separation

Age at Rescue

7 months old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Ndara'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 Ndara the gift of life by adopting today.

Ndara's Calves

Meet Ndara's wild born offspring.



When wild living orphan Ndara brought her brand new baby to meet the Keepers in March, we were beyond words. Born early in the morning, Neptune was a perfect little dream, nestling on wobbly legs in the shade cast by his mum's body.

Latest updates featuring Ndara

News on Emily's growing herd

Read more

Ex Orphan Emily successfully navigates her herd through the drought of 2017

Read more

Ex Orphan Ndara's first baby, little boy Neptune

Read more

Ndara's latest photos

Ndara and Neptune enjoying pellets

Ndara in the lead

Mbirikani with Neptune & Ndara

Ndara at the stocakde compound

Ndara greeting Mbegu

Ndara and Neptune

Ndara and Neptune

Nepture and Ndara