Uaso's Story

A male born in Laikipia in 1996. We received a radio message from Borana Ranch that a baby elephant had been seen all alone on Colcheccio Ranch, with no sign of the herd nearby. Since it was too late to organise an air rescue, we told them to try and keep tabs on the calf until the next morning, which they did, and reported that it was still there and being closely watched. It had a spear wound on the back, so obviously the mother must have been speared, and since the calf was still milk dependent, it had fallen behind and been abandoned by the Matriarch in the interests of the survival of the others.

Uaso's Story

Whilst we were organising a K.W.S. Vet, locating a suitable plane and pilot, the calf was captured on Colcheccio Ranch, and, surrounded by about l0 men, was taken across the swollen Uaso Nyiro river, with a great deal of difficulty. It was over a year old and still quite strong. It had to be walked across the river and to the Airstrip, arriving at the same time as the plane, a Caravan with seats removed, donated by East African Air Charters for the purposes of this rescue. The calf was, naturally, extremely traumatised,

We had arranged that Roy Carr-Hartley accompany the plane in order to ascertain the age of the calf and decide whether it should be brought into the Nursery for specialised care, or taken directly to Voi to join the others. I had told him that if it was not in too poor shape, it would have to be flown directly to Voi, since a calf that age would be unmanageable in the Nursery without the calming influence of others.

Whilst airborne, the radio message came through. The calf had been sedated for the journey, but was over a year old, and quite strong, although it did have a nasty spear wound in the back. However, the wound looked quite fresh and clean and could be handled down in Voi. The calf, who was named UASO form the river he had crossed, was therefore flown directly to Tsavo, and there handed over to MALAIKA'S group. MALAIKA and all the babies were simply overjoyed and it was the arrival of little UASO that helped them get over the death of ZOE.
UASO was extremely wild when he came round, and huddled beneath MALAIKA, surrounded by all the others. However, when he saw the other babies taking their bottles of milk, he soon understood. To begin with the Keepers had to feed him from the opposite side of MALAIKA, but gradually he calmed down enough to give a mock charge and then grab the teat hungrily. Of course, the wound on his back needed attention as well, and this did not help. UASO is from very strong Northern Frontier genetic stock, where the elephants have been subjected to rigorous Natural Selection over the years. His wound healed quickly and cleanly, and the trauma of his capture did not bring on the usual physical problems.

Adopt Uaso for yourself or as a gift.

Adopt Uaso for yourself or as a gift.

Current Age

28 years old



Rescued date

15 December 1997

Rescue Location

Laikipia, Loisaba Conservancy

Date of Birth (approximate)

1 May 1996

Reason Orphaned


Age at Rescue

19 months old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Uaso's featured photos

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Personalised adoption certificate.

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Monthly watercolour by Angela Sheldrick.

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Uaso's latest photos

Uaso left, Mpenzi & her calf

Uaso at the stockade

Uaso browsing in the bush

Uaso at Ngutuni


Uaso playing with Emily

Uaso feeding