Shaba


Sadly Shaba passed away on December 21st, 2009. He shall forever remain in our hearts

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Shaba's Story

At 5 p.m. in the afternoon of 20th September, 2009, a young Samburu Standard 6 student named Jacob Likilwai from Grirgir Primary School happened to be walking home from a place called Ntorokombe (meaning Black Stones) near Northern Kenyas Shaba National Reserve when he suddenly became aware that a tiny infant elephant just days old had attached itself to him and was following him trustingly. The little elephant was all alone, with no sign of other elephants in sight near a place known to the local tribes people as Buffalo.

Shaba's Story

At 5 p.m. in the afternoon of 20th September, 2009, a young Samburu Standard 6 student named Jacob Likilwai from Grirgir Primary School happened to be walking home from a place called Ntorokombe (meaning Black Stones) near Northern Kenyas Shaba National Reserve when he suddenly became aware that a tiny infant elephant just days old had attached itself to him and was following him trustingly. The little elephant was all alone, with no sign of other elephants in sight near a place known to the local tribes people as Buffalo.

During this extremely severe drought period, Shaba National Reserve is a very troubled patch of Northern Kenya, overrun by domestic livestock guarded against rustling by gun-toting trigger happy armed Samburu herders. The elephants of Shaba have also been heavily poached for ivory in recent months and have had to compete with livestock for both pasture and water, so human/wildlife conflict has also been a factor. The reason as to why he was orphaned was not known.

The tiny elephant stranger followed the school boy all the way back to his manyatta or homestead and it was from there that the Elders alerted the Kenya Wildlife Service Office at Isiolo about the baby elephants presence. KWS Officers and Rangers immediately came to collect the calf, and held him at their base overnight, alerting The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that a plane would be needed the following day to fly the elephant to the Trusts Nairobi Orphaned Elephant Nursery. It so happens that the Warden currently in charge of the Isiolo KWS Station was involved in the rescue of our orphan Rapsu whilst serving in Meru National Park, and as such was well versed in the dos and donts when it comes to handling an orphaned elephant calf i.e. to keep it well hydrated by offering it water, and on no account feed cowsmilk which the baby would be unable to digest, and which would upset its fragile digestive system.

Early the next morning, (21st September 2009) the Trusts Rescue team set off by air from Nairobi in a plane bound for Shaba and armed with all the paraphanalia necessary for survival, including intravenous drips, formula milk, and rehydration salts. On board also, was a KWS officer from the Services Veterinary pool.

The baby elephant was back in the Nursery by 11 a.m. and was a baby bull thankfully not in too bad shape. Having taken a close look at the hind-side of the ears, which were still pinkish, and the soles of his feet, it was decided that he was probably 1 - 2 weeks of age, and as such had probably benefited from his mothers first colostrum milk. We named him Shaba to identify his place of birth.

Date of Passing

21 December 2009

Gender

Male

Rescued date

20 September 2009

Rescue Location

Northern Kenya, Shaba National Reserve

Date of Birth (approximate)

1 January 2009

Reason Orphaned

Human-Wildlife Conflict

Age at Rescue

8 months old (approx)

Passed away

21 December 2009

Shaba's Archival Updates

A Grateful Grevy's Zebra

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The Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit in Action

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THE VOI STOCKADE'S SPECIAL HOMECOMING

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Shaba's Archival Photos

Shaba

Shaba

Shaba with a stick

Shaba

Shaba with Stephen