Tsavo's Story

A male calf estimated to be roughly one year old when orphaned near the Tsavo bridge on the main Mombasa - Nairobi highway, his mother having died nearby. One leg was seriously infected, so we suspect she died from septicemia, possibly caused either by a snare or an arrow wound. The rescue of this calf was unique, in that he was still very strong, but somehow managed to be subdued without being tranquillized, rescued by a handful of our Keepers and the Orphans' Overseer, Isaac Maina. Little Tsavo gave them quite a run for their money, but they managed to overpower him and load him onto the Orphans' Lorry after which he was transported back to the Elephant Stockades in Voi. He was, of course, extremely wild, and quite capable of inflicting some damage, but Emily's group surrounded him, and successfully calmed him. In no time at all he was taking milk from a bottle, following the example of Mweiga, so his was the easiest capture we have ever had, because the first we knew about it in Nairobi was a report about the presence of another orphan in Tsavo, who was doing well and even taking milk. Being the smallest in Emily's group, he usurped the privileged place of Mweiga in Emily's heart, and is very much part of her group, mingling happily with wild elephants they encounter, which makes Emily somewhat anxious lest she lose him to them. In fact, on one occasion, he followed a wild herd, and leaving the other orphans with Aitong, Emily followed him and the wild herd for two hours, until he could be persuaded to return.

Tsavo's Story

Tsavo was always a bossy little elephant, confident and delighted to have found a new "mother" and a new "family", and possessive of her affections as well.

Adopt Tsavo for yourself or as a gift.

Adopt Tsavo for yourself or as a gift.

Current Age

24 years old



Rescued date

1 January 2001

Rescue Location

Tsavo Ecosystem, Tsavo East NP

Date of Birth (approximate)

1 January 2000

Reason Orphaned

Natural causes

Age at Rescue

12 months old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

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 Tsavo the gift of life by adopting today.

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Tsavo's latest photos

The chopper assisting with Tsavo fires

Sirimon will move down to Tsavo soon too

Tsavo school children touching Ndii

Sunrise in Tsavo

Tsavo tries to play with Kivuko

Tsavo with Panda

Layoni, Tsavo and Shimba