Elephant rescues are always fraught for time is of the essence, and every minute of every hour can mean the difference between life and death. Communications are difficult when a tiny elephant is found miles from anywhere – this orphan having fallen into a hole in a Sand River not far from a remote Northern Kenyan town called Ol Donyo Nyiro in Laikipia District.Monday 9th June and a signal arrives from the Kenya Wildlife Service alerting us to the fact that a tiny elephant had been rescued by Samburu tribesmen the previous day having been found stuck in a deep hole in a sand lugga. Currently it was being held at the Police Post in Ol Donyo Nyiro town.
18 years old
9 June 2003
Samburu, Loisaba Ranch
Date of Birth (approximate)
1 June 2003
Man-made cause for separation
Age at Rescue
1 week old (approx)
Personalised adoption certificate.
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Monthly water colour by Angela Sheldrick.
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On 16th November 2021, Sunyei appeared at the Ithumba mud bath with a newborn daughter by her side. We named her Saba, which means “seven” in Swahili. It’s a most fitting name, as she is the seventh calf born to our Ithumba ex orphans thus far in 2021.
She is growing up alongside her big sister, Siku, who is four years her senior. Read more
Siku, Saba and Sunyei
Olare and Malkia with Sunyei, Siku, and Saba
Sunyei, Saba, Njema and Naserian
Sunyei and Siku
Sunyei and Siku with the orphans