Elephant of the Week or Elephants to Adopt / Foster / Sponsor

ORWA : Elephant of the Week at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust : Growing Up Ele

Name: ORWA

Name Origin: named to honor “members of the Orwa community” who first alerted KWS of a little elephant  in need of rescue

Date of Birth: 3 December 2010, a Friday

Age When Rescued: About twelve months

Gender: Male


This baby elephant is growing up!  ORWA is an adolescent now!

Where NowThe David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust  in Kenya, Africa.  ORWA has completed another milestone as he has now graduated past the Older and Adolescent Orphans at Ithumba and is now a “Partially Independent Orphan”

See Orwa : Growing Up Ele …Graduate to Ithumba… in 2014 Full story & Video

Foster  This Sweet Elephant


see Orwa’s photo gallery  Notice how Orwa sure finds time for a good scratch!


Location of Rescue: “in the Orwa area near the …South Turkana Game Reserve boundary.” see area on Fostering map

Elephant Became Orphaned Because of: Poaching or problem animal control”.


Situation Surrounding Orphaned Elephant’s Discovery:  As elephants are rarely seen in this “extremely harsh and arid desert environment,” where this baby elephant first wandered, little Orwa stuck out like a sore thumb.  And while the weather was one factor another was that this orphaned calf had also survived the “gun-toting Pokot and Turkana tribesmen” who wouldn’t have given a second thought to taking an elephant’s life.  

Given this situation, and as there were no other elephants in the vicinity when the little elephant appeared, the Orwa community members immediately alerted KWS whose Rangers took boots to the ground for full elephant rescue mode.

Insights into Orphan’s Elephant Herd:  None given.


Condition of Orphaned Elephant When Rescued: Baby orphan Orwa was quite “feeble” and dreadfully emaciated from having to fend for himself without his elephant Mama. Also there were obvious signs of predator animal bites (“perhaps Turkana domestic dogs or jackals”) on his little elephant body.

Lifesaving Measures Taken:  The little elephant was stabilized overnight by the KWS Rangers as “the rescue call” came in much too late for the DSWT rescue team to take to the skies.

Transported Via: DSWT Rescue Plane from Nairobi



Upon Arrival at the DSWT Nursery: Although initially suspicious of the humans who surrounded him at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that emotion was soon replaced with relief that these humans were of the kind that a desperate little elephant could trust. In no time the newly crowned Orwa began eagerly taking milk, “sucking the Keeper’s hands,” and gratefully accepting their love & their care.  But the way he was acting was so out of character for a twelve month old baby elephant, (almost announcing his imminent demise), that DSWT Keepers were cautiously optimistic regarding his chances of surviving “even…the first night…without (at least) descending into a coma and having to be put on life support.”

What Makes This Sweet Elephant Unique:  Brightened by the feeling that caring humans had taken him under their wing more than helped this baby elephant pull through. Although time was needed to adjust to his emotional loss (of his elephant mama & elephant herd) little Orwa overcame his sadness & frail health and survived against all odds.


Medical Treatment:  The baby bull elephant received “an oral course of Suphadimidine”  for his  “problematical  stools” to which his little elephant body responded with success. As he gained strength little Orwa also gained the ability to assert his independence as he learned how “to get up from a sleeping position without help”.

How Baby Elephant Adjusted to New Elephant Family at DSWT: Confused by the loss of his elephant herd and his Mother little Orwa could not find his way in this strange new environment. As such the newly orphaned calf chose to stay to himself, away from the welcoming trunks of the other DSWT baby elephants. Orwa’s depression deepened and his sadness continued for a very long time; classic signs of his “misery, dejection, and severe emaciation” which washed over his little elephant body & soul and soon overwhelmed him.

Elephant  Friendships Developed Over the Years:  Kamok, Bomani , Enkikwe, Vuria


Credit: Shades of Grey by Gwenn Seemel Creative Commons Flickr


His Keeper’s Diary includes updates on Orwa and over the years, his other sweet elephant friends

Watch YouTube Video: The Rescue of ORWA   Watch how little Orwa responded to be covered by a red blanket pre-flight!

Latest Updates on Orwa can be found on his orphan profile page


Featured drawing elephant painting credit: Shades of Grey by Gwenn Seemel Creative Commons Flickr

For Complete Story see Orwa’s Orphan Profile:  All quotes not linked can also be found there.


To learn more about The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s ( DSWT ) Fostering Program and how to Adopt Orma click here  then “select an orphan” ORWA

Note: At The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust  you may “foster your orphanfrom 1 year to up to 10 years! And before you submit your donation you “may select a few more orphans to foster” at the same time (for those of us who cannot decide!)

The orphaned elephants at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust are “reliant on your kind support” and, as always, the future of our elephants is in our hands.


David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust  on YouTube dswtkenya

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Facebook @SheldrickTrust

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Twitter @SheldrickTrust

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Instagram sheldricktrust

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2 thoughts on “ORWA : Elephant of the Week at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust : Growing Up Ele

  1. Pingback: TELEKI : Elephant of the Week at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust : Into the Wild : Part 1 | Elephant Spoken Here

  2. Pingback: TELEKI : Elephant of the Week at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust : Into the Wild : Part 2 | Elephant Spoken Here

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