In Kenya, where unpredictable weather is the norm, the floods of early 2018 posed a significant threat.
Amidst the chaos, the Mara Elephant Project scouts made a surprising discovery on March 20 during their patrol along the Mara River – a baby elephant struggling in the raging waters.
Responding swiftly, rescuers realized the stranded calf, no more than a week old, needed urgent help despite the treacherous conditions.
Promptly deploying a helicopter team, we named the rescued elephant Lemeki, honoring the location of her discovery. Her journey down the river’s tumultuous waters was nothing short of miraculous.
Aware of the delicate nature of baby elephants and the risk of pneumonia after prolonged submersion, we altered plans. We transported Lemeki to our Kaluku Field HQ in Tsavo, providing the warmth needed for her recovery.
Arriving at Kaluku, Lemeki’s vibrant personality surprised even seasoned rescuers.
Despite minor injuries, she charged around excitedly, capturing the hearts of onlookers.
The unexpected arrival led us to construct proper stables and quickly create a makeshift elephant bedroom.
To our delight, Lemeki thrived in her new surroundings, ruling over Kaluku like her own kingdom.
In less than 30 days, Lemeki became an integral part of our group, bringing positivity during a challenging time marked by the loss of Dame Daphne Sheldrick.
Her playful antics and affectionate moments with Angela provided solace and signaled new beginnings.
Lemeki’s boisterous personality, reminiscent of Voi in Daphne’s early years, made her a source of joy.
Constantly seeking attention, Lemeki’s captivating personality extends beyond humans. Adopting Neville Sheldrick’s vulturine guineafowl, she quickly became their leader.
Even after constructing her stable, the guineafowl continued to roost on her roof, solidifying Lemeki’s status as their protector.
Amidst a deluge of rushing water, Lemeki arrived dramatically but became a symbol of strength and spirit.
Currently ruling over Kaluku, her story is far from over, with expectations that she’ll soon expand her kingdom to encompass the entirety of Tsavo. This extraordinary creature’s tale has just begun.
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