Tassia's Story

This 9 month old bull calf was found all alone by three Samburu herdsmen during the morning of 26th March, 2009 as they were herding their cattle in the arid scrub Acacia country of their tribal land in an area known as Olchurai. He was near a hill known as Ntalabani where there has been a marked upsurge in poaching for ivory of late, ever since Chinese construction workers arrived to work on the roads of the area. With only the remains of the dead around and no sign of any living elephants nearby, it is probable that this calf is yet another victim of ivory poaching, fortunate to have been found by some ele friendly tribesmen, who reported his whereabouts to the Headquarters of the nearby Il Ngwezi Conservancy. They sought the assistance of Lewa Downs to help capture the calf and transport him to the nearest airfield which happened to be the one near Tassia Lodge, there to await the arrival of the rescue plane. The care and concern shown by his rescuers for his well being was most touching.

Tassia's Story

Before being loaded for the flight back to the Nursery, he was fed milk and rehydrants and given the usual prophylactic antibiotic injectionas a precaution against pneumonia. He was laid onto the canvas stretcher, his legs bound for the flight. Stephen in the meantime took notes about his rescue story from the men involved.

He arrived at the Nairobi Nursery the afternoon of the 26th March, and although emaciated and weakened from milk deprivation, he remained with a strong will to survive. This was made more evident when he was warmly embraced by the other orphans and immediately accepted into their group. He is a lovely mellow elephant that the Keepers have nicknamed Papa Oscar, and he absolutely loves his milk having been without it for so long, and is constantly in search of more. Tassia continues to grow stronger and his loving nature makes him a firm favourite with all those lucky enough to know him.

Adopt Tassia for yourself or as a gift.

Adopt Tassia for yourself or as a gift.

Current Age

16 years old



Rescued date

26 March 2009

Rescue Location

Laikipia, Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

Date of Birth (approximate)

19 July 2008

Reason Orphaned


Age at Rescue

8 months old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Tassia'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 Tassia the gift of life by adopting today.

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Tassia's latest photos

Tassia at the stockade

Safi greeting Tassia


Tassia feeding on the lucerne grass

Tassia browsing in the Taita sanctuary

Tassia guarding Ndara and Neptune

Tassia at the stockades

Tassia at the stockades