Date of Birth: Tuesday, 5 August 2014
Where: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery Nairobi Kenya Africa
Too Cute For Photos see Ndotto’s orphan profile & video at: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
His name comes from the Ndoto Mountains, the place of his birth. (“In Swahali it means dream.”) And it was here, in this remote area of Kenya (at the peaks of the mountains) within hours of Ndotto’s birth and newly separated from his mother, that already his little life was on the line. (It is a wonder that they even found the calf as the “Samburu community” had not seen an elephant family in a very long time.)
His family of elephants, “one of only a few” coming back to an area where elephant herds once flourished and were commonplace, (30 years back) had returned to find safety and an environment abundant with food and other elephant riches . So on this bright day, a Tuesday, August the 5th, it was a bit of a surprise when a solitary newborn calf was discovered in a state of confusion, and quite “scared”.
Somehow tiny Ndotto had become intermingled with the “nomadic Samburu tribesmen’s” herd. So hidden was the baby elephant amongst their sheep and goats that Ndotto became lost to his mama and elephant family forever.
Sadly, as the elephants edged closer to the villagers they found themselves spooked by their proximity to humans. And as other elephant mothers had done before her this “frightened mother” abandoned her calf; not an entirely improbable act. (“Despite many of the Samburu people being sympathetic and used to living this life of coexistence between man, their livestock and the wild animals, sometimes human wildlife conflict can unintentionally create these kinds of tragedies”.)
If not for the herdsmen of the Samburu tribe recognizing the “fetal matter” from the hours old calf the life of that baby elephant would have ended there. But after attempting in vain to locate Ndotto’s mama they knew, though they were “hesitant” to attempt to care for the calf, that the “desperately hungry little baby” had to be fed. (The villagers were even fearful of baby elephant upon initial contact yet they let him “stay close to their cattle for company during the night”.)
Not knowing that feeding the baby elephant a “local porridge called ‘uji’”(a mixture of “maize flour, fat and cow’s milk”) could instantly kill the calf they proceeded with the only nourishment they could provide. But it was only out of concern for the newborn elephant (his “umbilical cord was still fresh, his ears still pink” and he struggled to walk on wobbly legs) that the Samburu villagers went beyond measure to attend to little Ndotto.
To Be Continued: See Ndotto : Elephant of the Week at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust : Too Cute Part 2
For information on how to Adopt Ndotto see: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
See also: #ndotto on Twitter
VIDEOS: dswtkenya YouTube Ndotto’s Arrival
dswtkenya YouTube Ndotto One Week After
See also: Creative Commons You Tube Video (translated: Title: “We Visited Ndotto” Description: “We have Ndotto , an elephant orphan adopted and visited in Kenya . You can also do something good and also adopt an elephant.”
credit: public domain drawing of baby elephant