A heartwarming story of resilience and friendship has emerged in the arid landscapes of Kenya’s Mathews Mountain Range.
On September 14th, the Northern Rangelands Trust alerted us to a young elephant calf in the remote Kitich Forest Camp, nestled amidst the scenic Mathews Range.
Watch the video at the end.
This calf, estimated to be about one and a half years old, was notably small and bore tiny tusks.
While the details of his journey before this moment remain a mystery, it’s plausible that he had grown too weak to keep up with his herd, or perhaps his mother had fallen victim to the unfortunate human-wildlife conflicts that often escalate during droughts.
The plight of this young calf touched our hearts deeply, and we knew immediate action was required to ensure his survival.
Transporting him from the Kitich Camp to our Nairobi Nursery proved challenging due to its location.
When he arrived, the elephant greeted our Keepers in exhaustion and fragility, raising concerns about his prospects for recovery.
The sight of a calf seemingly having given up is always disconcerting, as their will to survive plays a crucial role in their rehabilitation.
Nevertheless, our dedicated team had successfully nursed many elephants back to health, even those lacking the strength to fight for themselves.
To honor his place of origin, we named the fragile newcomer “Kitich.” During his initial days at the Nursery, Kitich’s condition deteriorated, consistent with our experience with drought-affected animals.
Yet, we also know that improvement often follows a period of worsening health.
In the days leading up to Kitich’s arrival, we had the privilege of rescuing two other remarkable elephant females – Weka from Tsavo East National Park and Muwingu from Laikipia. These two gentle giants, like Kitich, were victims of the prevailing drought conditions.
Their bond was evident from the outset, and their friendship became a vital source of strength during their vulnerable initial weeks with us.
Weka and Muwingu, known for their spirited nature, provided much-needed encouragement to the frail Kitich.
With round-the-clock care from our devoted Keepers, Kitich began to show signs of recovery, thanks in no small part to the support of his newfound friends.
Today, Kitich, Weka, and Muwingu find solace and companionship in each other’s company as they spend their days peacefully browsing and observing the activities of the Nursery herd from a distance.
Their heartwarming bond is a testament to the resilience of these magnificent creatures. This, however, is just the beginning of Kitich’s remarkable journey.
In the few weeks since his arrival, he has made incredible strides towards recovery, leaving us confident that he will continue to thrive in the years ahead.
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