Rapa's Story

On the 1st of July Lewa relayed a report to DSWT from Sera Conservancy that Samburu Scouts had retrieved a young calf from one of the many wells in that area, Kisima Hamsini. The baby elephant had slipped in while the herd crowded around to drink water. Because of the presence of the pastoral people in the area the elephants do not linger long, and tend to drink here at night often while passing through to more fertile pastures.

Rapa's Story

By morning any evidence of elephants had vanished, only the screams of the desperate baby alerted the community. Due to sensitisation throughout the region these orphans are often reported and timely solutions sought for them. The community conservation scouts extracted the calf and he was kept safe until the DSWT could send a rescue plane to fly him to the Nursery. This is a hot and arid part of the country and extremely dry at this time of year, human wildlife conflict incidences increase as both man and the elephants struggle to share the same water resources.

The flight to northern Kenya past Mount Kenya and beyond Samburu to Sera conservancy is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The airstrip is short and fairly crude which makes rescues from here challenging. The calf had been driven in the back of a land cruiser to wait at the airfield shaded from the unforgiving sun while the scouts awaited the plane and keepers. He was a big, robust calf full of fight, but with bruises from his ordeal and very infected eyes as a result of his struggle in the putrid water while trapped in the well. Thankfully because the calf was small only about five to six months old, the weight was well within the limitations for a Cessna Caravan for a short takeoff as the team departed with the calf safely strapped in the back and an IV drip in place to compensate for the time he had been without mother’s milk.
On arrival in Nairobi he was loaded onto the waiting pickup with all the crew at Wilson Airport now extremely comfortable wrangling elephant orphans having dealt with many before. Even the Police who man the airport’s entrance gate curiously seek the details of each and every case as the DSWT exit the airport perimeter for the short journey to the Nairobi National Park, and DSWT Nursery orphanage.

A very feisty baby was off loaded and placed in a stockade, too stressed for a stable, and while he looked like the perfect little grey fat-cheeked Dumbo he packed a punch. It took two intensive days in order to settle him down.
We called him Rapa after a hill in the area from where he was rescued. In time he calmed sufficiently and was able to join the established orphans for their daily outing in the forest. He has assimilated well and the calming care of the others has turned him into a happy member of the nursery herd.

Adopt Rapa 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 Rapa 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

4 years old

Gender

Male

Rescued date

1 July 2015

Rescue Location

Samburu, Sera Conservancy

Date of Birth (approximate)

15 January 2015

Reason Orphaned

Trapped in a well

Age at Rescue

5 months old (approx)

Current Location

Ithumba Reintegration Unit

Rapa'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 Rapa the gift of life by adopting today.

Latest updates featuring Rapa

Updates: Maramoja, Rapa and Pare safely arrive at Ithumba Stockades

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Updates: The rescue of Rapa

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Rapa's Latest Photos

Rapa and Galla strength testing

Rapa scratching

Mteto and Rapa browsing together

Galla playing with Rapa

Galla playing with Rapa

Rapa with Kauro

Karisa and Rapa relaxing

Rapa