Thamana’s Triumph: The Unforgettable Rescue of a Baby Elephant

Thamana, a young elephant, embarked on a remarkable journey to survival on November 21, 2018, in Tsavo East National Park.

During a routine patrol along the Voi River Circuit, rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) stumbled upon a touching scene – a tiny elephant, less than a month old, stranded in a dwindling waterhole.

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It appeared that the calf’s family had attempted to rescue it but had to move on, leaving the little one behind.


Named Thamana, which means “something of value and worth” in Swahili, the calf was swiftly cared for under the attentive eye of Voi headkeeper Joseph Sauni.

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Transported by helicopter from Voi to the Kaluku Neonate Nursery, Thamana found refuge in a facility designed for delicate rescues.

Despite the challenges of infancy, Thamana thrived under the devoted care of his keepers and the companionship of the orphaned elephant Lemeki.


Unlike many infant elephants, Thamana, being very young and without memories of his family, experienced minimal health issues.

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His upbeat attitude and robust health make him an extraordinary case among rescued elephants.

Forging bonds with fellow orphans, particularly Lemeki, Thamana’s cheerful demeanor and adventurous spirit endeared him to the community at Kaluku.

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