On 18th March 2017 KWS received a number of reports from visitors about a tiny orphaned baby elephant wandering alone and abandoned, very thin and with predator bites on his back legs. Our Keepers based at our Voi relocation unit were informed, as was the DSWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit and the DSWT/KWS De-Snaring Team operating within that area. The Rescue Team located the calf after a short search and it became clear that he was in desperate need of rescuing, and in fact with the infamous Tsavo lions plentiful in that area, it was a miracle that he was still alive. Small predators (we suspect jackals), had attacked his rear end and hind legs and hence due to his wounds coupled by poor condition, it was evident that we needed to respond fast. The reason behind him being abandoned remains a mystery, but there had been a couple of poaching causalities in the area around this time and it is possible that one of these victims was his mother. What often happens in such situations is that the calf remains with the herd, but as it loses strength due to a lack of milk, the herd is forced to abandon it when it can no longer keep up due to its weakened state. This is more than likely what transpired in this baby’s case, because he was incredibly thin and dehydrated when eventually found. It is hard to imagine how frightened and stressed he must have been, all alone in such a hostile environment!
2 years old
18 March 2017
Rescue Location Unknown
Date of Birth (approximate)
10 December 2016
Age at Rescue
3 months old (approx)
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Sattao and Malima at 9am feed
Sattao and Tagwa looking for browse
Sattao enjoying his bottle of milk
Sattao wanting to share the hose with Malima
Jotto sniffing Sattao's mouth
Sattao drinking water
Sattao covered in mud
Sattao leading the orphans home at 5pm