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Orphan elephant gets a taste of the high life

A 3 week old baby elephant orphan had his first taste of the high life when he was rescued by plane by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a Kenyan charity dedicated to the protection and preservation of Africa's wilderness and endangered species. On 25th June two keepers from the David Sheldrick Trust Elephant Orphanage headed out to Simba Farm, Rumuruti, the agricultural area East of Laikipia escarpment (North West of Mt. Kenya). The elephant was first spotted by two security guards on the 24th June but they left him be in case his family returned. Instead the scared baby ran after a local boy, who in turn was spooked and ran to his village screaming. The villagers quickly took the orphan in and went in search of help. Elephants are used to the loving care of a large family so it was natural for the baby to warm to the villagers. The Kenyan Wildlife Patrol were called and they took Lorian in and fed him just water until the Trust could arrive.

It was the following day before the a rescue plane was sourced and chartered from East African Air Charters at Wilson Airport. Equipped with all the necessary paraphernalia, two Keepers were soon airborne and bound for the Simba Farm bush airstrip. Meanwhile, the little elephant was being escorted to the airstrip, accompanied by hordes of interested villagers. Once little Lorian was safely on board, the Keepers thanked the locals for not harming him. Baby elephants are extremely trusting and too young to recognise fear. It is believe Lorian was orphaned as a result of what is known as Problem Animal Control, his elephant family having been driven out of what is now human settlement but which in earlier times had obviously been part of their natural range.

It with great pleasure that Lorian joined 20 other elephant orphans at the Trust and he has taken to his new home in Nairobi already. He was in good condition, sturdy and strong, the hind-side of his ears still petal pink, but the umbilicus already dry so he is estimated to be 3 weeks old, since the hind-side of the ears turn dark at 6 weeks.

David Sheldrick's Trust rely on donations to enable them to rescue and care for orphaned elephants like Lorian, so that they might be afforded a second chance at life in the wild when grown. You can find out more about Lorian and watch a video of his rescue here.To help care for further elephants and support the Trust donations can also be made online at www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/html/help.html

You can visit Lorian too on our Land of the Masai Family trip