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Ele-fun for Everyone at the Nairobi Elephant Orphan Nursery

Rhona Lewis

Quick! Don’t miss it! For just an hour a day, the Nairobi Elephant Orphan Nursery is open to the public. We can’t wait to see baby elephants so close up, stroke their tough hide, and let them suck our fingers! Let’s go inside.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We walk past the stables, down a little path, and wait by a roped-off area, where there are very large bottles of milk. Suddenly, the elephant orphans came trotting out of the forest with their keepers. They’re ready to drink their milk and greet their visitors. Let’s get introduced.

 

Meet the Gang

Lominyek means “The Lucky One.” He really was lucky because, while his mother died from a hail of gunfire from bandits, he received just one hole in his leg. He was about fourteen months old when he arrived, and since he had grown up in an area filled with fighting, he saw all humans as the enemy. He arrived sedated and was put into the “taming stockade,” a special enclosure with a platform that the keepers can climb up to escape a charging elephant. When Lominyek came round, the first thing he did was ... charge! After a few days, he began to greet people, holding out the tip of his trembling little trunk.

Murka, a twenty-month-old, was found in Tsavo with wounds over her body. The rescue team unsuccessfully tried to encircle and overpower the calf. Finally, a vet, who had been chased up a tree to find safety from an elephant, managed to dart the calf with a sedative. She was transported by plane to Nairobi. She spent some time in the taming stockade and was sedated regularly so that her wounds could be dressed.

Salama is named for the village near which he was captured. He is the only elephant in the world to have been arrested by the police! His herd went crop-raiding and Salama was marched by angry tribesmen to the nearest police station. The police called the Kenya Wildlife Service, who then called the Trust. Salama was part of a herd of elephants that fled from poachers and was trying to live in an area close to farming land.

 

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