Mzinga’s Tale: A Tiny Elephant’s Triumph over Adversity

In the expansive wilderness of Tsavo, Mzinga’s remarkable journey is a testament to chance encounters, resilience, and the unwavering dedication of those committed to wildlife welfare.

One fortuitous evening in February 2022, our Tsavo Works Manager, concluding a day in the field, embarked on an evening patrol near Msinga Hill along the Voi pipeline.

Watch the video at the end.


Little did they know that this routine patrol would lead to a life-changing encounter with a tiny elephant, alone and vulnerable in the vast wilderness.

The Works Manager, recognizing the unusual circumstances, observed that the calf, no more than a month or two old, should not be unaccompanied.

With no family herds in sight and the open grasslands stretching endlessly, it became evident that the baby elephant was utterly alone.


The decision to intervene and rescue Mzinga was swift, with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) warden greenlighting the operation.

Named in homage to her rescue location, Mzinga’s diminutive size worked to her advantage during the rescue.

With the dedicated efforts of our Voi Keepers and the Works Manager, Mzinga was safely restrained and transported to the Voi stockades for the night.


She found solace and assurance there, surrounded by comforting rumbles from fellow orphans.

At dawn, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) helicopter transported Mzinga to the Nairobi Nursery, where her journey to recovery began.

Despite facing initial challenges, including the teething stage, Mzinga proved to be a fighter, with her spirit unwavering even during precarious dips in her condition.


Guided by the Keepers’ nurturing care and surrounded by her fellow orphans’ support, Mzinga overcame the hurdles of infancy.

A turning point in her journey occurred with the emergence of her final molar, transforming the once-vulnerable calf into a confident, spirited young elephant.

As Mzinga gracefully paddles around the Nursery with the determination of a much more giant elephant, her story becomes a beacon of hope.


With a suspected future as a mini matriarch, for now, Mzinga reigns as the queen bee of the ‘blanket brigade,’ symbolizing triumph over adversity and showcasing the boundless resilience of wildlife in the face of challenges.

Read more Elephant News.