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TELEKI : Elephant of the Week at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust : Into the Wild : Part 1


Name Origin/Meaning:  The Teleki Valley was so named for the explorer Count Samuel Teleki, who in 1887 “led the first expedition to penetrate the forest zone of Mount Kenya”*. Fittingly, the baby elephant rescued  from the area  was christened Teleki.

Date of Birth: 18 May 2011, a Wednesday

“DSWT orphaned elephants are assigned approximate birth dates as there is no way of knowing the actual day they were born”*.

Date of Rescue  8 September 2012    

Age When Rescued:  appox. 12 months

Gender: Male

Where Now: “Living Wild”*   Rehabilitated back Into the Wild by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust  Nairobi, Kenya, Africa

Foster  / Adopt This Sweet Elephant

See Teleki’s Latest Photos at SWT

Location of Rescue:  Mount Kenya Region, Judea area

See Area on Fostering Map


Image: CC Flickr by Gerald Graham Teleki Valley Mount Kenya Africa area Teleki the elephant was rescued


Baby elephant’s Rescue Video: The rescue of Teleki

Elephant Became Orphaned Because of: “suspected human-wildlife conflict”*


Situation Surrounding Orphaned Elephant’s Discovery:  For several days villagers had known that the elephant calf was alone and vulnerable. Yet , as some of them had sinister motives (to kill the little elephant), & were “milling around with ill intent,”* they were reluctant to report the sighting and initiate the rescue of Teleki. But little Teleki was given that second chance to live  and not without the “aid of some helpful community members,” * KWS Rangers , Mount Kenya Trust Scouts, & of course. the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.


Insights into Orphan’s Elephant Herd:  It is all speculation as there were no signs of Teleki’s elephant family when the baby bull was discovered all alone. What likely occurred: Teleki’s elephant herd had strayed off the Mount Kenya Elephant Corridor, (giving them safe passage through the area)  and wandered into the populated “community lands near the Meere River”*.

As the elephants encountered the humans  (human-elephant conflict) the mother elephant could have been speared (as her calf, Teleki, was) and succumbed to her injuries elsewhere or, in the confusion, the baby elephant was abandoned as the elephant herd quickly moved on.


Condition of Orphaned Elephant When Rescued: The baby elephant  had a gaping lesion on his back, indicative of being speared. Thankfully, the wound was not as deep as the DSWT rescuers had envisioned from the accounts they had been told.

Lifesaving Measures Taken:  Treating the spear wound  with antiseptic before taking the elephant calf on the rescue plane.

Transported Via: Cessna Caravan, from the Nanyuki  Airstrip

For Complete Story see Teleki’s Orphan Profile


Upon Arrival at the DSWT Nursery:  Though in great pain from the spear wound, the baby bull elephant   finally took to his feedings a couple of days after his rescue. He then happily drank from the bottle the special  milk (elephant formula)  given to him by his DSWT keepers.  Teleki was to be monitored,  not only for his injury but for the bloating of his little elephant body as well. Source: FB 09112012 (Sunday).

Essential Medical Treatment:  “essential rehydration fluids and milk”* SWT FB 09102012 & wound care.


What Makes This Sweet Elephant Unique:  Teleki was born in the picturesque, yet intensely cold, area of Mount Kenya; as such, nature bestowed upon him a covering of fuzzy hair on his little elephant body.  Baby elephants born in higher elevations certainly benefit from this little coat that serves to keep them warm.  Other DSWT rescues, such as Wendi the elephant (from Imenti Forest) were born in the Mount Kenya area, too!


Baby Elephant’s Personality Traits: Teleki has grown to have a natural talent as a horticulturist and can spend hours becoming one with nature.  And like any growing bull elephant he loves roughhousing with his elephant friends. Oh, and he loves the camera.  Notice how Teleki periscopes his trunk toward the photographer when he has the chance!

Baby Elephant’s New Friends: Kihari, a female elephant who was rescued from the same area as littleTeleki & Kwale is seen on Teleki’s Rescue video with him enjoying a mudbath!  Finally, long time nursery buddy ORWA  remains a close friend.


His Keeper’s Diary includes updates on Teleki and his other sweet elephant friends. Search “Teleki” from the Keeper’s Dairies Page


Mount Kenya Trust  facebook

Mount Kenya Trust website

Elephant Corridor in Mount Kenya area

Wildlife Corridor wiki


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


Image: CC Flickr Illustration Elephant Drawing by Biswajit Das Kunst



Quotes are from Teleki’s Orphan Profile *

Images:  CC Flickr:  Into the wild  Illustration Elephant Drawing by Biswajit Das Kunst, & by Gerald Graham, Teleki Valley, Mount Kenya Africa area Twhere eleki the elephant was rescued

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