Miraculous Rescue: KWS Commander’s Race Against Time to Save Stranded Elephant Calf in Tsavo East National Park

In a daring rescue mission on September 9, 2018, Mr. Salim Makomba, Company Commander of KWS Taita Ranches, demonstrated heroism in responding swiftly to a distress call from the local community near Tsavo East National Park.

The call concerned a young elephant trapped in Mzee Kirema’s dam, just outside Tsavo East National Park, near Mackinnon Road.

The incident unfolded in the early hours, following a night when community members provided water to their livestock.

A herd of elephants, seemingly undisturbed the night before, left a young calf stranded in the dam by morning.

The treacherous terrain around the dam compounded the challenge for the calf to regain footing, especially as the rest of the herd had moved away, leaving it isolated.

KWS Rangers, shedding their regular uniforms, responded promptly to orchestrate a safe rescue operation.

Patience and precision were crucial in guiding the distressed calf to the dam’s edge, where a team assisted in the extraction process. Once free, the exhausted calf was transported to a KWS camp via land cruiser.

The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit, funded by DSWT, led by KWS Vet Dr. Poghon, and DSWT Voi Relocation Unit keepers joined forces.

Recognizing the critical condition of the calf, they decided intensive care was imperative for its survival.

Calling in the DSWT helicopter crew, an IV drip was administered to the calf, and water was used to regulate its body temperature amid the scorching midday heat.

The meticulous removal of compacted mud around the calf was undertaken, with particular attention to its ears. DSWT Helicopter pilot Andy Payne skillfully transported the baby elephant to Nairobi.

In Nairobi Park, the calf received a warm welcome from Nursery Keepers, standing up for the first time since its rescue. With eagerness, it devoured warm milk and fresh greens, expressing gratitude for the assistance.

Due to prolonged exposure to unclean water, the calf’s eyes required immediate attention, prompting antibiotic administration to prevent pneumonia and water ingestion into the lungs.

Rescued from the Dololo region, the calf, named Dololo, initially struggled due to a severe worm infestation.

Deworming treatment facilitated his recovery, allowing him to join Luggard and Merru, two elder elephants, during the day.

Dololo’s progress stands as a testament to the resilience of these magnificent animals, emphasizing the importance of timely and fortunate rescues.

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