Daring Rescue: KWS Commander Saves Baby Elephant in Tsavo East National Park

In a daring rescue mission on September 9, 2018, Mr. Salim Makomba, the Company Commander of KWS Taita Ranches, responded swiftly to a distress call from the local community.

The call was centered around a young elephant trapped in Mzee Kirema’s dam, just outside Tsavo East National Park near Mackinnon Road.

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The incident occurred in the early hours of the day after a night when community members provided water to their livestock.


A group of elephants, seemingly without distress, roamed freely in the area. However, the calf faced challenges overnight, and locals were uncertain how long it had struggled to survive.

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The hazardous terrain surrounding the dam made it nearly impossible for the calf to regain footing.

With the rest of the herd unable to assist and having moved away, sensing urgency and danger, KWS Rangers approached the calf cautiously.


Patience and care were crucial in maneuvering the calf to the dam’s edge, where a group of individuals aided in the extraction process.

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Subsequently, the exhausted calf was transported to a nearby KWS camp using a land cruiser. The DSWT-funded Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit, led by KWS Vet Dr. Poghon, collaborated with keepers from the DSWT Voi Relocation Unit at the site.

Recognizing the calf’s precarious condition, they called for assistance from the DSWT helicopter team.


Stabilized with an IV drip and regulated body temperature, the calf was prepared for airlifting by the DSWT Helicopter to Nairobi.

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Upon arrival, the calf, named Dololo, stood for the first time since the rescue, adjusting calmly to its new surroundings.

The diligent care continued through the night, addressing eye issues and administering antibiotics to prevent pneumonia.


Dololo, initially weak and weighed down by a substantial worm infestation, underwent a deworming regimen.

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Eventually, he recovered strength, joining other elephants in the park, notably Luggard and Merru, older and more serene, proving to have a therapeutic effect on the fragile calf.

Gradually, Dololo grew stronger, spending more time with the elder elephants.


Dololo’s impressive recovery, highlighting a fortunate rescue just in time, stands as a heartening testament to the resilience of these magnificent creatures.

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