The Reteti RESCUE Team never know what the day is going to bring. Every single rescue, they travel for hours throughout the dry unforgiving and challenging areas, sometimes inaccessible by road or air the team will walk for hours in the heat of Northern Kenya offering assistance to any baby Ele in need. Every rescue is tough … But the 18th April was very different.
Our team got a report late at night of a seriously injured and abandoned little calf, approximately 1.5 months old, it had fallen into a well in Loisaba Conservancy Laikipia County. He was found in a very critical state, crying out for his mother scared and in pain.. It had lost a third of its trunk to a hyena the previous night.
Vets from Kenya Wildlife Service and Reteti rescue team were rushed to the scene, to help save the calf from the excess bleeding and possibly death. A trunk is an elephant’s most versatile tool, it practically uses it for everything , and our little baby was left fighting for its life. Out of its struggle to breath, a discussion arose of a possibility of euthanasia. We could not allow it! “He fought well” they say “from a small seed a mighty trunk may grow”. We are hopeful, and convinced he deserved the chance at life, after all he had already survived a hyena attack! The Reteti team will favour the brave!
The plane flew directly to Reteti, he was placed in a stable that had been specially prepared for him and with all new coming calfs the team and elephants awaited his arrival. He was named Long’uro which means something that has been cut in the Maa language.
Dr.Chege , and our vet team is paying a very close attention by constantly cleaning up the damage the hyena had caused. He is now under the care of Mary Lenges , she is one of the first women keepers at Reteti, she is patient, caring and has a huge amount of experience when it comes to baby elephants! She is ready to take up the task of being his mother.
Thankfully it didn’t take long for him to latch onto a bottle of milk as once he knew where the milk was coming from he was hungry and desperate to feed. Although he remains very wary of his wounds, his desire for playing outweighs his fear and he developed a playful nature with his little adopted brothers and sisters in the nursery.
We know Long’uro has a long journey ahead of him, more challenging than most, but he has already shown us his ability to adapt to a new deformity, he has shown us his willingness to trust and learn from the other keepers and orphaned elephants . We can’t help but feel he will teach us a huge amount about elephants and their kind spirit, their intricate herd structure and ability to look after each other. Long’uro is brave and strong and his life represents so much, to the community, to the keepers, his is a story of hope and we hope you too will join us in supporting him.