Visitors and staff at a Kenyan resort acted quickly when they spotted a baby elephant washed up in a flooded river – and it could mean the difference between life and death for the small animal.
“Our staff and guests were involved in the incredible rescue of a baby elephant from the flooded Ewaso Nyiro river,” wrote Elephant Bedroom Camp (EBC) on Samburu National Reserve earlier this month.
A bystander managed to capture the moment on camera. A group of staff members can be seen swimming in groups in the middle of the river. As they approached the bank, they would see the little elephant they were holding. The men on the shore rushed to help them.
“The baby elephant whose mother could not be found was brought to the Reteti Elephant Orphanage at Namunyak Samburu Museum with the help of Save Elephants and Samburu National Reserve rangers,” EBC wrote.
The baby turned out to be a girl. Rescuers named her Ewaso after the river where she was found.
Although everyone was worried for Ewaso’s health after all the water she swallowed while fighting to stay afloat, after just a few days of rest and comfort at the sanctuary, Ewaso did better. She’s even ready to meet some new friends.
Katie Rowe, one of the sanctuary’s founders, said: “She recently had a mud bath with Lemorijo, another lifeguard who recently turned 2 months old. “The mud acts as a sunshade and as an insect repellent.”
According to Rowe, Ewaso turned out to be a “very spunky and charismatic” character. “One day, when it started to rain, we took her inside her stall. She started trumpeting with people to let them know that she wanted to continue playing outside. Then, when we released her, she ran into the grass with her keeper.”
Ewaso’s keepers, Mike and Leado, have extensive experience nurturing vulnerable rescued elephants into healthy and ready to go back to the wild. “Ewaso is in the best hands,” said Rowe. “Someone is always with her, and Leado sleeps with her in the stall at night to make sure she is okay.”