Thamana’s extraordinary journey to survival began on November 21, 2018, in Tsavo East National Park.
While on a routine patrol along the Voi River Circuit, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers stumbled upon a heartwarming surprise – a tiny elephant, less than a month old, stranded in the center of a drying waterhole.
Watch the video at the end.
This wasn’t a new scenario for the experienced rangers; it was likely that the calf’s family had tried to rescue him but, unfortunately, had to move on, leaving the little one behind.
Stuck in the mud, the calf had survived the night despite evidence of predator activity, possibly hindered by the challenging terrain.
The dedicated rangers braved the thick mud, rescuing the calf and transporting him to the Voi Reintegration Unit in their secure Land Cruiser.
Named Thamana, meaning “something of value and worth” in Swahili, the calf found immediate care under the watchful eye of Voi Head Keeper Joseph Sauni.
Thamana was flown via helicopter from Voi to the Kaluku Neonate Nursery, which is specially designed for delicate rescues.
Despite the challenges of infancy, Thamana thrived under the care of his keepers and the companionship of orphaned elephant Lemeki.
Unlike many infant elephants, Thamana, being very young and without memories of his family, faced minimal health issues.
His upbeat demeanor and good health set him apart as an exceptional case among rescued elephants.
Forming bonds with fellow orphans, especially Lemeki, Thamana’s cheerful disposition and adventurous spirit made him a beloved member of the group at Kaluku.
Over time, a beautiful friendship blossomed between Thamana and his new elephant keeper, Joseph.
As Thamana matured, he displayed an adventurous and playful nature, undeterred by challenges.
His vitality and joy were evident in his plump physique and cheerful demeanor. Originally from Tsavo, Thamana will return to his natural habitat in Kenya’s expansive National Park.
While he continues to enjoy the company of his human caretakers, Thamana is growing into a magnificent elephant, ready to embark on the next chapter of his life in the wild.
Read more Elephant News.