Thoma's Story

On Saturday 11th August, 2001, news came of another tiny orphan from a Refugee population of Laikipia Elephants sheltering in a tiny remnant Forest near a place called Nyahururu, which, in Colonial times was known as "Thomson's Falls", hence the name Thoma. This calf was apparently in the process of being transported by road to Mweiga Airfield, a distance of some 80 miles. We were prepared for another difficult customer, since the Refugee elephants, completely surrounded by human settlement, lead a life of trauma and terror at the hands of humans. Every time they step beyond the sanctity of their forest shelter, they are in trouble, and consequently they tend to have adopted a nocturnal feeding pattern, emerging only under cover of darkness to find whatever they can beyond the forest.

Thoma's Story

The Trust chartered the usual plane, kindly always given at cost by Mike Seton of East African Air Charters. Our rescue team arrived at Mweiga to find a tiny calf laying comatose and almost dead in a small Lion Cage, barely even breathing. We estimated her age to be approximately 2 months, which means she was born in June 2001. We doubted that she would even be able to make the journey back, but she did, reviving after managing to swallow a little rehydration salts. Closer inspection revealed multiple puncture wounds on her hindquarters, possibly from thrashing around in the cage, or from a barbed wire enclosure when she was confined at the Nyahururu Police Station. She was severely traumatised to the point of being nearly demented both from pain and fear.
For an entire week little "Thoma" was inconsolable, restlessly pacing her stable, fearful of both the other elephants and the Keepers. For an entire week she never slept, and nor did the poor Keepers! But, she fed well from the start, and we were spared the usual diarrhoea. Injectable antibiotic in conjunction with hot towels gently laid against her buttocks gradually cured the sepsis from the puncture wounds; massive doses of silver taken with her milk also worked its usual magic, homeopathic "Arnica" and "Camomile" helped calm her, and then finally, "Thoma" slept! Reversing the sleeping pattern of nocturnal refugee elephants is always difficult, something we had experienced with Nasalot too.

Mulika adored her, Sweet Sally and Mweya were curious to start but more interested in each other, and Nasalot was busy mothering Mweya, who was probably handful enough! Little "Thoma" settled down well and soon became happy and playful, and finally seemed totally at peace with her new environment.

Adopt Thoma 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 Thoma 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

18 years old

Gender

Female

Rescued date

11 August 2001

Rescue Location

Laikipia, Rumuruti Ranch

Date of Birth (approximate)

1 June 2001

Reason Orphaned

Problem animal control

Age at Rescue

2 months old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Thoma'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 Thoma the gift of life by adopting today.

Thoma's Calves

Meet Thoma's wild born offspring.

Thor

Male

Marking the 23rd wild born baby, Thor was a wonderful surprise for the Voi Keepers as Thoma proudly marched up to the stockades with a healthy young bull following closely behind!

Latest updates featuring Thoma

Updates: News on Emily's growing herd

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Updates: Ex Orphan Emily successfully navigates her herd through the drought of 2017

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Updates: Emily's Ex Orphan Herd Return on the 1st December 2016

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Thoma's Latest Photos

Thoma playing with Thor

Mweya with Thoma

Thoma with Thor and Eve in the back ground

Icholta, Inca, Thor and Thoma arrive at the stockades

Dabassa Thor and Thoma

Thoma scratching her neck

Thoma

Thoma, Thor and Wesesa