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Friday, November 13, 2009

Amazing elephants - Edie and Emily

Here is an incredible story of just how intelligent elephants are. The two mama elephants are wild living orphans rescued and brought up by the Sheldrick Trust.

When you look at the photos, remember they have been living in the wild for quite a while.

On the 18th Edie brought her calf back to the Voi Stockades, wise enough to know that she needed the assistance of her erstwhile human family to save her baby, who was growing weaker because she lacked sufficient milk to nourish it during such a difficult time. With her were Mweya, Mpala and Morani and Irima. Dairy cubes and other supplements were hurriedly sent down from Nairobi, to help Edie’s milk bar and save little Ella, who thereafter became visibly stronger by the day, her mother having enjoyed supplementary feeding.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to us and the Keepers Emily was trying to do the same, but her baby born last December, being older, was in a much more dire condition and, in fact, not far off dying. Therefore Emily’s journey from Ngutuni was painfully slow because little Eve was so weak, but finally she managed to make the Voi Safari Lodge waterhole, which is about 3 or 4 kms. from the Voi Stockades.

They immediately rushed back to the Stockades to get Keeper Mishak Nzimbi, who has known Emily since the day she came into the Nursery aged just l month. Mishak is, and always has been, the favourite Keeper of all our elephants, irrespective of age, and deeply trusted by Emily. Mishak walked straight up to Emily and her calf who was lying at her feet and was greeted by an outstretched trunk. He had come armed with the supplements provided for Edie, and when the calf managed to struggle to its feet to suckle, he and the other Keepers slowly accompanied Emily and her baby back to the stockades. It was a laborious journey that took the next 6 hours because the baby could only walk a few paces at a time and had to rest frequently, but in the end they made it.

For the next 2 days Emily remained at the Stockades, delighted to find Edie, her baby and some of the group already there, and embrace the newcomers newly arrived from the Nursery, namely Lesanju, Lempaute, Sinya, Shimba, Mzima, Wasessa, Tassia and Taveta. Mercifully, it had already rained in Voi, and the country was turning green, so fresh green grass and new shoots were also readily available. Once little Eve had regained some of her strength, being a wild baby, she took to giving the Keepers quite a run around, but soon understood that they were friends, rather than a foe. Other members of Emily’s unit have since begun to trickle in whilst yet others are still elsewhere. By month end both Emily and her baby along with Edie and hers were well on the road to recovery and were able to move further afield from the stockades.

Edie and feisty little Ella.

Emily and Eve.

Emily, with keepers Julius and Mischak working things out.

Emily following the keepers back to the stockade to bring her baby to safety.

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