Rescuing Motomo: A Tale of Compassion and Ingenuity

In a heartwarming tale of resilience and collaboration, a young elephant named Motomo captured the attention of conservationists and communities alike when he was spotted roaming alone in unfamiliar territory on March 23, 2023.

Motomo’s unexpected journey began when he was found a remarkable 50 kilometers away from his usual habitat within community land.

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While the Tsavo Conservation Area lacks enclosing fences, allowing for flexible borders, the sight of a solitary juvenile elephant venturing so far from home raised questions about his circumstances.


Typically, young elephants would still be with their families at Motomo’s age, around eight years old, making his solitary trek all the more puzzling.

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Disoriented and vulnerable, Motomo faced a perilous journey back to safety amidst a maze of farms and villages.

With human-wildlife conflicts often escalating in such encounters, immediate intervention was essential to ensure Motomo’s well-being.


Responding swiftly, a collaborative effort between various conservation groups, including the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT), and others, launched a rescue mission.

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With rangers, veterinarians, and pilots working in tandem, a helicopter was employed to guide Motomo to a secure location, where he was safely tranquilized from above.

Transporting the sedated elephant posed a unique challenge due to his weight. Resourceful thinking led to the innovative use of a Land Cruiser as a makeshift step alongside a canter truck, enabling Motomo’s successful transfer to safety.


Named after the area where he was found, Motomo was carefully relocated to the Ithumba Reintegration Unit, where he could receive the care and companionship needed for his recovery.

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Welcomed by both ex-orphans and wild elephants, Motomo’s transition to his new home marked a turning point from uncertainty to security.

After days of recovery, Motomo rejoined his newfound herd, embraced by the ex-orphans as one of their own.


With his age and independence increasing, Motomo thrived in his natural habitat, embodying the hope and resilience of wildlife in the face of adversity.

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Motomo’s journey is a testament to the unwavering commitment of conservationists and supporters worldwide.

Through compassion and ingenuity, Motomo’s story embodies the belief that every elephant deserves a chance at a bright and fulfilling future, surrounded by the love and protection of a caring community.

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