In a remarkable expedition on December 4, 2018, three orphaned female elephants—Malkia, Ndiwa, and Sana Sana—embarked on a transformative journey from their nursery to the wilderness of Tsavo.
Before the trip, these majestic creatures underwent meticulous training to ensure a smooth transition.
Loaded onto a specialized elephant transportation truck, the trio, accompanied by dedicated Keepers, set off on a 250 km adventure along the Mombasa highway.
To minimize stress, the elephants received a mild tranquilizer, and the truck was equipped with hanging greens and an abundance of mixed milk bottles.
Surprisingly, Malkia, initially hesitant during practice, loaded into her cubicle first, defying expectations.
Ndiwa, sensing the gravity of the occasion eventually adapted, and Sana Sana joined her.
With three Keepers ensuring their well-being, the convoy encountered a smooth journey thanks to recent road upgrades.
Upon reaching Tsavo, the trio eagerly embraced their new surroundings. While Ndiwa focused on her milk bottle, Sana adjusted effortlessly, and Malkia hesitated momentarily.
The dedicated Keepers provided comfort, guiding them towards water troughs and introducing them to their new companions, including the mischievous Mundusi, Esampu, and Mteto, who were already familiar with the newcomers.
Under the mild sun, the orphans gradually acclimatized, indulging in mud wallows and showcasing their joy.
A feeding session at 11 o’clock revealed their impressive communication skills despite arriving that morning.
The day unfolded with the herd browsing for food and culminated in the graduates, Malkia, Ndiwa, and Sana Sana, entering their night enclosures with familiarity and routine.
As the ex-orphans were absent during migration, likely reveling in the lush greenery, the trio exhibited eagerness for their new chapter, albeit continuing reliance on milk bottles and Keepers.
This pivotal moment signifies progress towards an independent life in Tsavo’s Northern Area, a sanctuary for elephants, albeit with more challenges before fully embracing freedom alongside the ex-orphans.
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