Shujaa's Story

Shujaa means ‘hero’ in Swahili. Given everything this tough little elephant has overcome, it is a most fitting name.

Shujaa could have easily gone undiscovered. His story began on the evening of 21st August 2022, as a group of tourists were finishing a game drive along the Voi River Circuit in Tsavo East National Park. Darkness was falling, but in the encroaching gloom they managed to spot something amiss in a muddy embankment: A tiny calf, just a few months old, was flailing in the sticky earth.

They raised the alarm with KWS, who greenlit a rescue. Our Voi Team, based nearby, rushed to the scene. They arrived not a minute too late: A calf so small would not have survived the night on his own with the number of predators in the area.

Shujaa's Story

Shujaa means ‘hero’ in Swahili. Given everything this tough little elephant has overcome, it is a most fitting name.

Shujaa could have easily gone undiscovered. His story began on the evening of 21st August 2022, as a group of tourists were finishing a game drive along the Voi River Circuit in Tsavo East National Park. Darkness was falling, but in the encroaching gloom, they managed to spot something amiss in a muddy embankment: A tiny calf, just a few months old, was flailing in the sticky earth.

They raised the alarm with KWS, who greenlit a rescue. Our Voi Team, based nearby, rushed to the scene. They arrived not a minute too late: A calf so small would not have survived the night on his own with the number of predators in the area. He had clearly been abandoned to his muddy fate, as there were no other elephants anywhere nearby. We will never know exactly what twist of fate robbed Shujaa of his family, but in times of drought herds are forced to move and travel great distances in search of food, so while there was evidence his family tried desperately to save him they had eventually been forced to give up in the best interests of the whole herd. His life so very nearly ended in that muddy quagmire.

By this point, it was pitch black. Shujaa was plucked from the mud and whisked off to our Voi Reintegration Unit, where the Keepers cleaned him up, before he spent the night in a cosy stockade. However, he was far too small to grow up at Voi, so the following morning, the SWT helicopter flew him to our Nairobi Nursery.

We were quite worried about Shujaa. Prolonged time in mud can be disastrous for a young elephant, causing all sorts of internal lung and stomach issues. However, our little hero defied the odds and thrived from day one. He was immediately scooped up into the baby elephant ‘blanket brigade’, joining Mzinga, Nyambeni, and Mageno on forays around the forest. 

The Keepers report that Shujaa is a reserved chap, who loves to watch the action from the sidelines. His favourite activity is to take a relaxed dust bath in the sun, preferring the dust to mud understandably.

Adopt Shujaa 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 Shujaa 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

14 months old

Gender

Male

Rescued date

21 August 2022

Rescue Location

Tsavo Ecosystem, Tsavo East NP

Date of Birth (approximate)

19 November 2021

Reason Orphaned

Stuck in mud

Age at Rescue

9 months old (approx)

Current Location

Nairobi Nursery

Shujaa'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 Shujaa the gift of life by adopting today.

Latest updates featuring Shujaa

The Rescue of Shujaa

Read more

Shujaa's latest photos

Kitiak, Shujaa. Suguroi and Nyambeni

Shujaa browsing

Mzinga and Shujaa relaxing

Shujaa in his blanket

Shujaa in the forest

Shujaa dust bathing

Shujaa

Shujaa roaming around