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Abandoned 18 months old calf rescued
This eighteen months old calf was first discovered on 14th of September when I was out with Katito on field work. I was quite amazed by Katito’s experience in observing Elephants. Even just before I switched off the engine she pointed out to me saying something is not right the youngest calf. We noticed that her skin had the tell tale signs of a malnourished calf and not as playful as one would expect of a young baby. She was in a group totaling seven individuals. After identification Katito then proceeded to carry out census and indeed the little one did not belong to the sub-group of the MAWA family. She seemed quite settled with Winnie, a forty years female with her two daughters, two sons and her granddaughter feeding together. There was no cause for alarm however, being still milk dependent, we knew it would get weaker thus the need to keep a close eye.
On the 29th of September Norah and Katito found her feeding alone in the swamp at around the same place she was with the MAWA sub-group two weeks ago. This prompted to report the presence of an abandoned young calf to the KWS and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi- which is a haven for orphans. Later that day the rescue plane landed at the Amboseli airstrip aboard four keepers armed with the necessary tools. The keepers experience and professionalism was in no doubt as they brilliantly and gently wrestled the calf to the ground covering her head with a blanket and tying her legs with ropes. It was quite a scene watching the four men being dragged around by the calf but they eventually managed to take it down. Some few kilometers in the back of KWS pick-up, it arrived at the airstrip and loaded onto the plane with its legs bound on the rescue tarpaulin.
As it is tradition, the calf was named Kitirua, the name of the area it was rescued from. We all waved farewell as the plane lifted off the ground and we hope her new friends and family will see her through.
Little goes missed by the Amboseli Trust for Elephants in ensuring the Amboseli Elephants are well accounted for and I am happy to be a part of it.