Rescued Elephant Calf Overcomes Ordeal: A Tale of Survival and Recovery

On December 5, 2021, the Samburu Trust, in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), alerted us to a distressed elephant calf orphaned due to human-wildlife conflict.

The heartbreaking discovery unfolded when we learned that the calf’s mother had fallen victim to this conflict.

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A five-day search followed us to the young elephant, bearing a rump injury suggestive of a glancing spear wound.

In the challenging remote terrain, we organized a rescue mission to airlift the calf safely.

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The helicopter touched down at our Nairobi Nursery around 5 pm, carrying the precious cargo.

Swiftly, our Keepers escorted the calf to his new home – a well-prepared stockade adorned with fresh greens and comfortable hay.

Named Tingai after the nearby area of his rescue, he settled into his secure haven, finding solace after enduring a traumatic experience.

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The mystery surrounding Tingai’s past adds to the intrigue of his rescue. Left alone for five days after losing his mother, the young elephant displayed signs of trauma, easily startled by sudden movements or loud noises and bolting in fear.

Interestingly, Tingai found comfort in the company of other elephants within the Nursery, highlighting his learned reliance on safety in numbers.

Although Tingai tends to be withdrawn, there are encouraging signs of progress. He now engages in playful activities with fellow orphans, forming bonds with companions like Barnoti, Oldepe, and Rama, who have faced challenges like him.

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These newfound friendships are pivotal in Tingai’s emotional recovery journey.

Despite the harm inflicted by humans wielding spears, Tingai surprisingly welcomes the kindness of his Keepers without hesitation.

Cared for by his new elephant family, Tingai’s path to recovery has begun, surrounded by the support he desperately needs.

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