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.
Important Note: Thank you for adopting and being part of the DSWT family, it is important to note that your donation will help any orphan in need. Our orphans will need more than one adoptive parent.
18 years old
12 October 2001
Samburu, Sera Conservancy
Date of Birth (approximate)
1 September 2001
Found in erosion gulley
Age at Rescue
1 month old (approx)
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Monthly water colour by Angela Sheldrick.
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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.
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