Tagwa's Story

On 6th May Angela was called by Simon Gitau, Senior Warden Mount Kenya, with reports of an orphaned elephant sighted in community lands, abandoned by the elephant herds of Mount Kenya National Park. The community thankfully were elephant friendly and sought to find assistance for the little baby alerting KWS personnel in the area.

Tagwa's Story

On 6th May Angela Sheldrick was called by Simon Gitau, Senior Warden Mount Kenya, with reports of an orphaned elephant sighted in community lands, abandoned by the elephant herds of Mount Kenya National Park. The community thankfully were elephant friendly and sought to find assistance for the little baby alerting KWS personnel in the area.

With heavy rain storms that afternoon in Nairobi it seemed unlikely that the calf could be captured in time and driven the one hour to the Nanyuki airstrip before night fall, so the decision was made to rescue the baby and keep her overnight at the Kenya Wildlife Service Mount Kenya headquarters. This the KWS did, with guidance from Company Commander Nelson Leponyapui, keeping her safe, comfortable and warm, until early the next morning.

Thankfully the weather held off and the SWT rescue team were able to get away early, landing at the Nanyuki airfield by 8.00am. The little calf, estimated to be approximately eight months old, was already waiting at the Nanyuki airstrip in the back of the KWS vehicle, very weak and worryingly thin. Immediately she was fed some milk and placed on an IV drip by the SWT for the duration of the flight. Thankfully the IV fluids did her good and she appeared much stronger on arrival at the Nursery and was able to get to her feet unaided, and took a second bottle of milk before settling in to feed on browse. Like we have seen before with the Mount Kenya orphans that we have rescued in the past, she is covered in a protective blanket of dark fuzzy hair all over her body. We have chosen the name Tagwa for this little girl, an area on Mount Kenya not far from where she was rescued.
Mount Kenya National Park was established in 1949, and protects the region surrounding the mountain, and is home to abundant fauna and flora. Currently the National Park is within the forest reserve which encircles the whole mountain and in 1997 the mountain and surrounding forest reserve was named a UNESCO world Heritage Site. Apart from the obvious touristic value, as it is a place of extraordinary beauty, Mount Kenya is an extremely important water catchment for the surrounding areas.
In an effort to protect small holdings on the lower reaches of the mountain from straying wildlife fences have been erected in parts. It is sometimes that wildlife is caught on the wrong side of these fences and we think this is what happened in Tagwa’s case. Judging by her condition she has been without Mum for quite some time, possibly four or even five days. It is likely that in her desperation she sought company which is why she ended up in the grounds of a Community Member’s small holding seeking help. Thankfully she found herself amidst sympathetic surroundings, as sometimes communities can be hostile towards elephants who can exact a heavy toll on their crops.

Adopt Tagwa for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.

Important Note: Thank you for adopting and being part of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust family. It is important to note that your donation will help any orphan in need. Our orphans will need more than one adoptive parent.

Adopt Tagwa for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.

Important Note: Thank you for adopting and being part of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust family. It is important to note that your donation will help any orphan in need. Our orphans will need more than one adoptive parent.

Current age

4 years old

Gender

Female

Rescued date

7 May 2016

Rescue Location

Mount Kenya Region

Date of Birth (approximate)

4 October 2015

Reason Orphaned

Human-Wildlife Conflict

Age at Rescue

7 months old (approx)

Current Location

Nairobi Nursery

Tagwa's featured photos

Our digital adoption programme includes the following:

Personalised adoption certificate.

Monthly email update on your orphan and the project.

Monthly water colour by Angela Sheldrick.

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

Give Tagwa the gift of life by adopting today.

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Tagwa's Latest Photos

Tamiyoi and Tagwa browsing together

Tagwa, Sattao, and Musiara browsing

Tagwa drinking some water from a puddle

Tagwa, Sattao, and Musiara browsing

Tagwa enjoying her milk bottle

Tagwa flapping her ears

Tagwa enjoying the fresh grass

Tagwa holding her milk bottle