Esoit’s Tale of Triumph: Overcoming Adversity in the Chyulu Hills

On the fateful evening of May 3, 2021, distressing news reached us about a female elephant with a severely injured hind leg in the Chyulu Hills.

The rocky terrain had left her immobile, shuffling along in agony.

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Compounding the tragedy, she was a mother of two calves, one dependent on her milk and the other around seven years old.

The SWT/KWS Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit quickly assessed the dire situation. The female and her calves, abandoned by their herd due to water scarcity, were stranded on the arid lava slopes.

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Two adult bulls stayed behind to protect them, a common occurrence in stressful situations.

Despite exhaustive efforts, euthanasia became the only compassionate option. With heavy hearts, a rescue mission unfolded.

Skilled Nursery Keepers flew to Ol Donyo airstrip via Cessna Caravan, then safely approached the elephants with the help of a helicopter. The bulls were nudged away, allowing the rescue to proceed smoothly.

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The complexity intensified as the calf, too heavy for everyday transport, required careful handling.

Despite the challenges, the rescue team lifted the calf onto a stretcher. Euthanasia was the only option for the suffering mother, a heartbreaking moment for all present.

While the mother couldn’t be saved, a bright future awaited her young calf, named Esoit. Left with the bulls, he would join a welcoming herd.

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Despite the separation from his brother, it was deemed the best choice for their distinct needs.

Esoit’s name, derived from the location near Esoitpuss, where vultures roost, connected him to his birthplace.

Despite an early knee injury, Escort adapted well to the Nursery, capturing hearts with his charisma.

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Forming bonds with Keepers, he became an active and agile elephant, his spirit undeterred.

Roho, a fellow resident, became an instant companion, their friendship evident in playful activities and nighttime trunk intertwining.

Esoit’s journey, marked by resilience and support, assures him a loving family. While nothing can replace his lost mother, the Nursery herd provides him with care and affection. The ultimate goal is to help Esoit return to his natural habitat when right.

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