Resilient Elephants of Tsavo: Adapting to Scarcity in Search of Survival

The unforgiving dry season has cast a challenging shadow over the Tsavo Conservation Area, and its beloved elephants have embarked on a relentless quest for sustenance and hydration.

As nature’s trials often dictate, the herd’s matriarch faces the heart-wrenching decision of leaving behind the weakest members, typically the young and elderly, during times of prolonged drought.

Watch the video at the end.

She made a distress call in the early hours of September 29th, 2021, at Salt Lick Lodge, nestled in the Taita Hills Sanctuary.

Image 229

They had been closely monitoring a baby elephant abandoned just outside their lodge for an entire day.

Despite other elephants arriving at the watering hole, none extended a helping trunk to the stranded calf.

Image 230

The little one was left to fend for itself, nibbling at dry grass and yearning for milk and the protection of a guardian against lurking predators.

Answering the call of duty from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), our Operations Manager hurried to the scene and discovered the lone baby elephant standing vulnerable on the vast plains.

With the Voi Reintegration Unit nearby, a team of Voi Keepers swiftly arrived at the site. The rescue mission unfolded seamlessly, with the team gently capturing the calf and transporting him to an airstrip near Taita Hills Lodge, where a plane was waiting to whisk him away to Nairobi.

Image 231

Accompanied by two Nursery Keepers, the young elephant embarked on his flight, arriving at his new home by nightfall.

Despite the ordeal, the calf displayed remarkable composure throughout the process, a common trait among rescued calves who are simply grateful for their second chance.

We christened him Taabu, a Swahili term signifying “trouble.” However, his name does not reflect his disposition, as he is a cheerful and unassuming elephant. Instead, it commemorates the tumultuous times he endured after losing his mother.

Image 232

Fortunately, Taabu emerged as one of the few who survived the harsh dry season that claimed many elephants’ lives.

According to his Keepers, Taabu is endearing and exceptionally intelligent. He thrives in human company, relishing social interactions and playtime. His bond with Naleku, his sleeping companion, is particularly heartwarming.

When he’s not exploring the jungle with his friend, he’s busy forging new relationships, eagerly sipping milk from his bottle, or curiously observing the Nursery’s daily activities.

Image 233

We are profoundly grateful to the vigilant soul who spotted this inquisitive young calf and ensured his survival, allowing him to savor a whole life.

Image 234
Image 235
Image 236
Image 237
Image 238
Image 239
Image 240
Image 241
Image 242
Image 243
Image 244
Image 245
Image 246

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *