Resilience Prevails: Mundusi’s Journey from Loneliness to Elephant Family

For three days, 15-month-old Mundusi wandered motherless and alone, facing an uncertain fate until help arrived.

Spotted by the Masai community on March 20, 2017, and closely monitored by the Kenya Wildlife Service and Big Life Scouts, it became evident that Mundusi urgently needed assistance to survive.

Watch the video at the end.


Recognizing the critical situation, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) was contacted for a rescue mission.

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Aerial support from the DSWT Airwing played a crucial role in locating the vulnerable calf, who happened to be the only elephant for miles around. Weak and dehydrated, Mundusi’s rescue mission unfolded on March 23, 2017.

The DSWT rescue team swiftly mobilized, rushing to Ziwani airstrip to airlift Mundusi to safety. Found recumbent in the back of a land cruiser, the emaciated calf was immediately shielded from the harsh sun, placed on a drip, and carefully loaded into the aircraft.

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Unexpectedly, the rescue team received a call from Angela Sheldrick, altering their plans. Instead of heading directly back to Nairobi, they were redirected to Voi airstrip within Tsavo East National Park to collect another newly rescued newborn orphan.

The team found themselves managing two orphans on the flight back to Nairobi.

Upon reaching the Nairobi Nursery, Mundusi, approximately 15 months old, was settled in an enclosure.

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The reason for his orphaning remained a mystery, but he adapted well to the routine, feeding on milk and gradually embracing the available greens.

His stockade neighbor, Mteto, provided comfort and companionship.

Despite initial distress when the other orphans left for their daily excursions, Mundusi called for them.

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However, with Keepers’ attentive care and the presence of fellow orphans, Mundusi flourished.

Taming swiftly, he joined the Nursery herd during the day, no longer confined to his stockade.

Named after the area he came from, Mundusi is now a calm and healthy addition to the elephant family, displaying resilience and a newfound zest for life.

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