In a heartening celebration of life, the Tsavo Trust recently marked a historic milestone as Ithumbah, a formerly rescued orphan reintegrated into the wild, proudly introduced her newborn calf to the world.
This joyous occasion celebrated the newest addition to the elephant family, Iman. It marked the 50th calf born to elephants rescued, nurtured, and released back into the wild—an extraordinary achievement for both Ithumbah and Kenya’s elephant population.
Watch the video at the end.
Beyond being a cause for individual celebration, this birth is a testament to the success of dedicated conservation efforts.
A total of 50 elephants now roam free, a direct result of the commitment to saving and rehabilitating orphaned elephants years ago.
Ithumbah’s journey into motherhood is a tale cherished by the Ithumba team, who have been with her since the beginning.
Discovered stuck in black cotton clay near Ithumba Dam during a harsh dry season in September 2010, abandoned by her herd overnight, Ithumbah miraculously survived without falling prey to predators.
Despite the hope of reuniting with her family, she became an integral part of the Ithumba team. She found a new family among the orphan herd, mentored by elder elephants such as Loijuk, Yatta, Kinna, and Galana.
Upon reclaiming her place in the wild, Ithumbah became a beloved nanny to the babies of her older friends.
The anticipation of Ithumbah’s motherhood lingered for almost two years until July 12, 2023, when Deputy Head Keeper Emmanuel encountered Ithumbah and her newborn baby girl, Iman.
The surprise and joy of this moment were shared with the entire Tsavo Trust community as they marveled at the lively and healthy spirit of the newborn.
Continuing a cherished tradition, Ithumbah promptly introduced Iman to the humans who played a pivotal role in her upbringing.
This gesture remains an honor, repeated by other ex-orphan mothers, symbolizing the enduring connection between elephants and their caretakers.
As Ithumbah and Iman embark on their wild journey together, the Tsavo Trust expresses gratitude for the elephants who, even in their newfound freedom, consider the trust an integral part of their expanding family.
Witnessing Ithumbah’s daughter grow up in the wild alongside her mother is a testament to the circle of life and the harmonious coexistence between rescued orphans and their dedicated human allies.
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