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!
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.
3 years old
18 March 2017
Tsavo Ecosystem, Tsavo East National Park
Date of Birth (approximate)
10 December 2016
Age at Rescue
3 months old (approx)
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
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
Sattao leading the orphan herd
Karisa, Dololo and Sattao
Wanjala, Musiara and Sattao
Musiara and Sattao having a wrestling match
Sattao suckling his trunk out in the forest
Musiara seeing what Sattao is eating
Sattao, Maktao, and Dololo having fun in the mud
Dololo and Sattao in the mud bath