Date of Birth: 18 February 2016, a Thursday
Age When Rescued: 12 months
Where Now: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery Nairobi Kenya Africa
Foster This Sweet Elephant
Too Cute For Photos see Enkesha’s photo gallery Note: some of the photos are graphic for they show the baby elephant’s injury & surgery
Location of Rescue: “Mara Triangle in the Masai Mara” see area on Fostering map
Elephant Became Orphaned Because of: “Poaching”
Situation Surrounding Orphaned Elephant’s Discovery: Enkesha is not an orphan in the traditional sense as most orphaned baby elephants have been abandoned or left behind. This baby elephant was amongst her wild elephant herd & by her mother’s side when found.
Insights into Orphan’s Elephant Herd: This baby elephant rescue was most unusual because Enkesha’s elephant herd and her elephant mama were in the vicinity the whole time. It was only because of the severe injury to her baby (a wire snare wound tightly around Enkesha’s trunk ) that the Kenya Wildlife Service had even considered separating the mother elephant from her calf.
After first observing them too late in the evening to have been able to “perform an operation” on the little elephant calf, The Mara Conservancy rangers kept an eye on the large elephant herd throughout the night. By daybreak when elephant rescuers arrived (“DSWT funded Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit & KWS Veterinary Officer Dr. Campaign Limo”) they discovered, to their dismay, that the wild elephant herd had moved more deeply into the forest, hampering the elephant rescue even more. Additional assistance became necessary.
“The Mara Elephant Project’s helicopter pilot Mark Goss” was called in to help “gently push” Enkesha’s elephant herd from the cover of the forest. Finally the wild elephant herd was back out into “the open terrain” making them accessible to the elephant rescuers. The elephant medical team then had to decide on the most effecive way to alleviate the suffering of the calf thus providing immediate medical help.
Condition of Orphaned Elephant When Rescued: In “excruciating pain”; the baby elephant’s little trunk, having been caught in a poachers snare (the “wire snare” still tightly wound “around her trunk”), was all but severed, “leaving just a small portion (of the skin) intact”.
Lifesaving Measures Taken: The baby elephant was darted; while Enkesha’s mother was distracted / “kept away” in order for the elephant rescue team to examine the wound, Enkesha’s “almost severed” trunk.
There were few medical options regarding the baby elephant’s severely injured trunk.
- “Amputate the trunk.”
- “Attempt to reconstruct” the baby elephant’s trunk.
- Leave the baby elephant’s trunk “as it was”.
As none of the surgical procedures could be undertaken onsite, the decision was made by the DSWT team of elephant rescuers (including “Mara Management & the KWS Vet”) to stabilize the elephant calf for transport to “the DSWT elephant orphanage in Nairobi for further care”.
Enkesha’s wound was then “thoroughly cleaned”, her little elephant trunk “temporarily reconstructed” and Enkesha was administered medication intravenously to alleviate her pain, (also to prevent shock and to calm her during her trip).
Transported Via: DSWT plane. Despite medications to prevent that from happening, the baby elephant was “fully conscious” during her flight. Perhaps at that moment Enkesha realized she had just been captured and was being transported away from her mother and her elephant herd. But this separation was for a good & kind reason, to help a baby elephant to survive.
To be continued: ENKESHA : Elephant of the Week at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust : Too Cute Part 2
For Complete Story see Enkesha’s Orphan Profile:
Her Keeper’s Diary includes updates on Enkesha and her other sweet elephant friends
Watch YouTube Video: Baby Enkesha’s Rescue
Note: Any quotes not linked / credited above can be found in this baby elephant’s orphan profile, Enkesha, at DSWT.
Credit: public domain drawing of baby elephant
To learn more about The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s ( DSWT ) Fostering Program and how to Adopt Enkesha click here then “select an orphan” ENKESHA
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