On December 4, 2018, an exciting journey unfolded for three young female orphan elephants – Malkia, Ndiwa, and Sana Sana.
This marked a crucial step in their eventual return to the wild. Loaded onto a specially designed elephant truck after weeks of preparation, the trio embarked on a unique adventure.
To ensure a smooth transition, the elephants practiced entering the truck beforehand. Despite initial concerns about Malkia’s hesitation, the unexpected occurred on the actual moving day – she willingly stepped into the car first, surprising everyone.
In contrast, Ndiwa presented a challenge, sensing the gravity of the occasion.
However, with the Keepers’ guidance, she eventually joined Malkia and Sana Sana in their designated spaces.
Carrying this precious cargo, the convoy set out early from the Nursery compound, facing a 250 km journey.
A midpoint rest stop allowed the Keepers to gather fresh Grewia bushes for nourishment.
The upgraded road made the trip surprisingly easy, and as the sun emerged, the elephants arrived at the Ithumba Reintegration Unit.
Welcomed by fresh milk and Keepers in green jackets, the trio met Ithumba’s dependent orphans, including mischievous Mundusi, Esampu, and Mteto. A heartwarming reunion ensued as the new arrivals integrated into the herd of 27.
Malkia, Ndiwa, and Sana Sana adjusted to their surroundings as the day progressed, showcasing typical elephant behaviors like ear-flapping and mud baths.
Their calm demeanor during regular feedings and interactions with the herd highlighted effective communication.
As evening approached, a mesmerizing rainbow adorned the sky as the elephants gathered at the Ithumba Stockades. The newcomers instinctively went to their night enclosures, embracing their new routine.
While the relocated elephants weren’t in sight during the move due to rain and abundant vegetation, Malkia, Ndiwa, and Sana Sana eagerly embraced their new chapter. However, they’ll continue relying on milk bottles and caretakers.
This move signifies progress, but their journey toward an independent life in the Northern Area of Tsavo still lies ahead.
Read more Elephant News.