In the face of a poaching crisis that claimed an elephant every 15 minutes for their valuable ivory, a heart-wrenching incident unfolded in July 2011.
In the village of Chala, witnesses saw a frail elephant calf, Kilabasi, venture alone into Tsavo National Park from Tanzania.
It was apparent that Kilabasi, too young to survive alone, had likely lost her mother to ruthless poachers.
This marked a turning point in Kilabasi’s life, propelling her into a remarkable journey of resilience and motherhood.
Kilabasi, like many orphaned baby elephants affected by the devastating poaching crisis, found refuge at the Nursery.
Initially unsettled and prone to wandering off, which is typical behavior for grieving orphans, Kilabasi gradually gained confidence.
By January 2013, she graduated from Ithumba, showcasing a calm and composed demeanor as she boldly entered her new home.
Fast forward to recent times, and Kilabasi’s story is uplifting. Wandering in the wilderness, she maintained frequent contact with her Ithumba family.
The joyous revelation came when it was discovered that Kilabasi was pregnant. Over nearly two years, her baby bump grew, signaling the imminent arrival of a new life.
Despite challenges posed by the harsh dry season, Kilabasi chose to stay close to Ithumba during the final stages of her pregnancy.
The long-awaited rains arrived, but Kilabasi’s baby was nowhere to be seen.
On January 2, 2022, the wait ended, and Kilabasi proudly introduced her adorable baby boy, Kofi, to the world.
Kofi adds to the growing elephant family around Ithumba with a curious trunk and perfectly formed heart-shaped ears.
Kilabasi’s dedication extends beyond her own family. She has selflessly cared for friends’ babies and is now passing on her expertise to younger companions.
The recent baby boom at Ithumba, with six calves born in six weeks at the end of 2021, continued into 2022 with Icholta’s newest addition at Voi Keepers.
Kilabasi’s role in nurturing Kofi, the 46th elephant offspring rescued, reared, and reintroduced into the wild, is a testament to the progress made over the past decade.
Despite initial fears for the future of elephants during the poaching crisis, the thriving of wild-born elephants like Kofi showcases the positive strides made in conservation efforts.
Kilabasi’s journey from a poaching victim to a nurturing mother symbolizes hope and resilience for elephants in the wild.
Read more Elephant News.