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AJOK : Elephant of the Week at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust : Into the Wild : Part 1

Name: AJOK

Name Origin/Meaning: Ajok means ‘Hallo’ ” in the Turkana tribal dialect”

Date of Birth: May 1990

Age When Rescued: one week old

Gender: Male

Where Now: A fully independent orphan (Ajok was slowly released INTO THE WILD with the elephant herds of Kenya , Africa from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust after living happily and thriving at the elephant orphanage for a number of years.)

This exuberant elephant is all grown up! One of the “Big Boys Raised From Infancy”.


Foster This Wonderful, Mischievous Elephant

For more details & photos of Ajok: Into the Wild : see Ajok’s orphan profile

& Ajok’s photo gallery


Location of Rescue: “Turkana/Turkwell   See area on fostering map

Elephant Became Orphaned Because of: poaching

Situation Surrounding Orphaned Elephant’s Discovery: Tribesmen of the area “happened upon” Ajok, this solitary “tiny” elephant as he walked along the banks of a “dry riverbed”. So unusual was this occurrence, & the trusting nature of the baby elephant, that the tribesmen took to the orphan and “spared him” his life. They immediately “took him to the nearest Police Post”.


Insights into Orphan’s Elephant Herd: There were no other elephants in the area when this baby elephant was discovered and rescued.

More Insights into the Little Elephant’s Life: Born in the desert of Kenya “Turkana country” this little calf would have had to endure practically the cruelest environmental conditions on earth, for an elephant. But instinct and the hardy nature of the very few elephant survivors tell the story of the miracle that is little Ajok.

In addition: There were no laws of protection for the elephants born in that desert area. As such, if the extreme nature of the weather / harsh conditions had not taken the lives of these elephants, poachers most certainly would. (Tribal members were known to kill elephants for food.)

Given these two strikes against the species most “young elephants” would not have survived.


Image: CC Flickr:  Illustration Elephant Drawing by Biswajit Das Kunst


Condition of Orphaned Elephant When Rescued:  “Vulnerable and tiny”. As the orphaned calf was so very young (one week old) and was “all alone” he would have gone without his mother’s milk or any nourishment for a number of days.

Lifesaving Measures Taken: Amazingly this orphaned baby elephant was “one of the very few who never needed the attention of a Vet. “Ajok was a tough baby” having been born “the product of natural selection through evolution in a harsh and exacting environment where only the toughest of the tough survive.”

Transported Via: “air rescue”


Upon Arrival at the DSWT Nursery: This orphaned baby elephant was the first baby elephant at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust! And as he was given care by his Keepers and extra special attention by staff and Dame Daphne Sheldrick co-founder of DSWT (see Ajok in book   Love, Life and Elephants by Dame Daphne Sheldrick ) there remains a special place in everyone’s heart for this little bull elephant.

What Makes This Sweet Elephant Unique: Just being born (and surviving as) a desert elephant makes little Ajok a one in a million elephant! And he would let you know it, for sure!


To be continued: AJOK : Elephant of the Week at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust : Into the Wild : Part 2

Learn more about Ajok by reading Love, Life and Elephants by Dame Daphne Sheldrick

For Complete Story see Ajok’s Orphan Profile: Any quoted material not linked in this article was sourced from AJOK: DSWT.


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