Seraa's Story

On the 12th October 2001 we were alerted that an elephant would be coming by helicopter to our doorstep at the Nairobi Nursery. This elicited a flurry of excitement and activity, since this was the first baby elephant to be brought by a Helicopter actually on site. Shortly later, the same helicopter that flew Mweya from Uganda to Kenya, landed beside Daphne’s house, with a tiny trunk waving from an open window! We were told by the pilot, Phil Mathews, that she had been rescued by Ian Craig of Lewa Downs from a deep depression in a natural rock water catchment known as Kasima Hamisi. Ian Craig’s party were there to discuss another community wildlife related project with the local people when they heard faint wails that at first they could not identify. Further investigation revealed the tiny head of an elephant calf just managing to keep above the water level. They believe that she had been in the “well” probably for two days, unable to touch the bottom, but managing somehow to keep afloat, desperately clinging to life. This same place had apparently trapped another calf a couple of years earlier who had been successfully reunited with her elephant family.The baby was extracted from the hole and deposited by the Helicopter near an elephant herd spotted from the air earlier, but sadly the Matriarch reacted violently, tossing the calf away, whilst another member of the herd attempted to kneel on her. Clearly this particular herd would reject, and even possibly kill, this baby – unusual elephant behaviour in a psychologically stable population, but not unusual where the elephants have long been subjected to persecution by humans and are themselves constantly in a state of high alert. The calf was retrieved and from then on, treated as an orphan. Ian Craig requested that she be named “Seraa”, the name of the location in which she was orphaned.

Seraa's Story

Here in the Nairobi Nursery, the reception little Seraa received from the other orphaned elephants was warm, tender and loving. They all came along to have a look and welcome the new baby before themselves going into their stables for the night. Then, “Nasalot”, upon hearing the calf cry, insisted on being let out again so that she could reassure herself that the distress was not emanating from one of “her” favourite Nursery babies – i.e. Mweya, Sweet Sally or little Thoma. With tail up and ears out she hurried round to their night stables, and having satisfied herself that each one was fine, rushed back to where the baby was with her new Keepers. We let her in, and immediately the newcomer calmed down, as Nasalot rumbled a loving greeting, and gentled the baby all over. Having spent about 10 minutes with her, Nasalot was then happy to return to her stable, confident that the baby was in safe hands with her new Keepers. As for little Seraa, very soon she was comfortable with her Keepers, taking re-hydration fluids and milk, and during her first night, unlike Sweet Sally and Thoma, slept soundly. Come the morning, the Keepers felt that perhaps she should stay put for a while. However, the two older orphans, Nasalot and Mulika had other ideas. Bellows from the bush indicated that they were wondering why Seraa was not with them, and back they came, to collect her!

We estimated the tiny elephant was about 6 weeks old upon arrival, therefore born in September 2001, and although we anticipated the usual problems, Seraa was fine and delighted to have found herself within a welcoming elephant family, and humans that were equally as loving and gentle, to feed her on demand and take care of all her bruises, both mental and physical.
Having been moved to the Voi Unit in June 2003, Seraa is a solid member of Emily's ex-orphan herd and we were delighted in February 2018 when she had her first wild born calf, little boy Solar.

Adopt Seraa for yourself or as a gift.

Important Note: Thank you for considering an adoption. Each orphan needs more than one foster parent: your adoption donation will be processed by the SWT UK and Kenya to help all the orphans in our care.

Adopt Seraa for yourself or as a gift.

Important Note: Thank you for considering an adoption. Each orphan needs more than one foster parent: your adoption donation will be processed by the SWT UK and Kenya to help all the orphans in our care.

Current Age

21 years old



Rescued date

12 October 2001

Rescue Location

Samburu, Sera Conservancy

Date of Birth (approximate)

1 September 2001

Reason Orphaned

Found in erosion gulley

Age at Rescue

1 month old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Seraa's featured photos

Our digital adoption programme includes the following:

Personalised adoption certificate.

Monthly email update on your orphan and the project.

Monthly watercolour by Angela Sheldrick.

Access to special content; latest Keepers' Diaries, videos and photos

Give Seraa the gift of life by adopting today.

Seraa's Calves

Meet Seraa's wild born offspring.



Solar is Seraa's first wild born calf. We met him for the first time just days after his birth, when Seraa brought him along to the Voi stockades. His nanny is Wasessa who always keeps a watchful eye over her little charge. Read more

Latest updates featuring Seraa

News on Emily's growing herd

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Seraa Has Her First Wild Born Baby

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

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Seraa's latest photos

Seraa with Solar and Emily

Seraa with Solar under her

Sinya left, Neptune, Solar, Seraa & Lempaute

Seraa arrives with Solar

Seraa and Solar enjoying the mud-bath

Sweet Sally Safi Laikipia and Seraa

Thoma, Eve and Seraa

Seraa and her wild bull friend