Reteti Elephant Sanctuary has welcomed another elephant into its fold. He is an eight-month old male calf. His name is Loisaba, in honor of the conservancy who brought him to us. This is how he came to live at Reteti:
On morning of Thursday, 12 October, Loisaba Conservancy Conservation Officer Amos Chege received an urgent call from the Starbeds Lodge manager. A malnourished elephant calf had been seen. When Chege arrived, he witnessed the calf trying to join a nearby herd, but it was repeatedly rejected by the matriarch. Clearly, this was not his herd.
We do not know what happened to Loisaba’s mother. However, mothers are not willingly separated from their calves. The elephants at our sanctuary came to us as a result of poaching, elephant-human conflict or drought related issues. There has been a lot of movement in and out of the Loisaba Conservancy recently, so it is possible Loisaba’s mother was poached or died elsewhere.
When Loisaba was found, he was in bad shape and needed help. The dedicated staff at Loisaba Conservancy reached out to us at Reteti. We chartered an plane, arriving with staff from the North Kenya Veterinary service. The calf was quickly and successfully sedated by dart, loaded onto a plane and brought back to the sanctuary for safe keeping.
He is adjusting wonderfully. At first, since he was not ready to join the rest of the herd, he would go out browsing with his keeper, Lemarash, every day. He took the bottle well, while learning the routines and getting to know us.
This past Thursday, we decided it was time for Loisaba to get to know the other elephants. It is always a beautiful moment to witness, and this introduction did not disappoint. Nadasoit, his first friend, came barreling down the hill to meet Loisaba. They then began to intertwine trunks, like little children holding hands.
Loisaba quickly integrated into the Reteti herd. The other elephants were excited to see him and eager to get to know him. They followed Loisaba everywhere for the rest of the afternoon. Loisaba is now a part of the family. We are glad to be able to provide him a home and look forward to seeing him grown big and strong with the Reteti herd, and one day return to the land where he came from.
Today, then, after just a little over a year, Reteti is home to 11 orphan elephants and one rhino. They are getting stronger by the day, and although we will miss them terribly, we look forward to the moment when they are able to re-enter the wilderness and live the life they were meant to.
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