Date of Birth: 14 February 2015
Where now: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery Nairobi Kenya Africa
Godoma: Too Cute For Photos see them at: DSWT
This baby girl was named Godoma for the valley near to where she was found in the early hours of 14 August 2015. It was a traumatic day for the calf as she had somehow ended up “trapped in a steep sided watering point” near the Tsavo West National Park. Remarkably “Conservancy Scouts” from the privately owned Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary spotted the “bruised and battered” baby elephant and came to her immediate rescue.
Though it was no easy task they “retrieved her from the water” and as they knew she was quite young (and still dependent on milk from her mother) their first concern was reuniting her with her elephant family. So they took the chance and released her.
Although obviously weakened from her ordeal, little Godoma, trotted out behind a “herd of zebra and three buffalo on the open plains” as the men waited and observed her hoping against hope that her herd would return to retrieve the “desperately vulnerable” calf. But it was not going to happen (no other elephants were even seen in the area) and at that point The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was called in to “mount a rescue” as it was still possible to track the little one.
As DSWT have a “rehabilitation unit” in Voi, which is 1½ hours from the 28,000 acres of the THW Sanctuary, a convoy was dispatched with “much needed milk formula” for the calf. Fortunately time, in the form of daylight hours, was still with them which assisted in coordination of the full on effort to retrieve Godoma.
As all of this was happening a plane was being readied and “mobilized from Nairobi” along with DSWT’s “Nursery Keepers” and all of the “necessary rescue paraphernalia”. A handoff from both teams that met at the Taita airstrip went extremely well and the baby elephant was taken aboard (an IV was “inserted into her ear vein” to fortify her for the flight).
Darkness had already set in when Godoma arrived at her new home and it would soon become clear to the calf, as she was placed in a “carefully prepared stable,” that this was not the setting she had expected.The baby elephant desperately wanted her family back and her lingering cries let her keepers know of her despair.
But little Godoma has come along, recovering from the wounds she suffered in the well. (Although her physical trauma has diminished, her emotional trauma lingers still.)
She responded to their kindness when her keepers moved her to a more spacious, higher-roofed stable after they realized how claustrophobic she felt in her own small space. “Mellow Mwashoti,” the elephant orphan who swapped stables with her, didn’t mind one bit. And as Godoma’s anxiety lessened everyone at the Nursery observed how calm and comfortable she had become. Yet she still kept mostly to herself, shyly “remaining on the fringes” of a group setting.
As time goes by her unhappiness is overshadowed by the love she receives not only from her keepers but especially from the other Nursery orphans who share her journey and continue to shower her with attention.
She is still a baby taking baby steps in her new home and as the newest orphan at the sanctuary one can’t help but notice the strides this little elephant has already made.
Click to Adopt This Elephant
See video: Baby Godoma is Rescued
credit: public domain drawing of baby elephant