From Nursery to the Wild: Maisha and Nabulu’s Heartwarming Graduation at Ithumba

Graduation ceremonies at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) always tug at the heartstrings, symbolizing orphaned elephants’ transition from the nursery’s nurturing confines to the vast, untamed wilderness.

This time, the cherished mini matriarchs Maisha and Nabulu were in the spotlight, taking their next steps toward an independent life in Tsavo East.

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Maisha’s journey began in 2017, rescued from Tsavo East during a devastating drought. Found collapsed near a water hole, she was nursed back to health at the Nairobi Nursery, transforming from a skeletal calf into a radiant and gentle leader within the Nursery herd.

Nabulu, her graduation partner, joined the Nursery in 2019 after being found orphaned in the Maasai Mara.

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Despite efforts to reunite her with her herd, Nabulu formed a strong bond with Maisha, becoming an integral figure in the nursery.

On May 26, Maisha and Nabulu embarked on their journey to Ithumba in Tsavo East, bidding farewell to the familiar landscapes of the Nairobi Nursery.

The low-key arrival allowed them to acclimate to their new surroundings before the exuberant welcome of the elephant herd, including old friends from their Nursery days.

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Sattao, Musiara, Dololo, and Ambo were among the first to greet Maisha and Nabulu, rekindling memories of their time together in the Nursery.

Ambo and Musiara were chosen as their roommates in Class 1, an enclosure reserved for the most junior orphans. The warm welcome confirmed the thoughtful decision.

Despite the surprising number of vehicles encountered on the journey, Maisha and Nabulu displayed confidence, sticking close to their Nursery Keepers without anxiety.

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The introduction to Ithumba included the routine midday milk feed and mud bath, seamlessly becoming a part of their day.

Since their arrival, Nabulu has showcased assertiveness and assumed a leadership role, while Maisha has taken a softer approach, making friends and relishing special attention.

Nabulu’s bold demeanor positions her as the protector and guide, confidently leading the herd.

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For Maisha, returning to Tsavo East is a poignant journey to the place of her birth, with the possibility of reuniting with her mother.

As Maisha and Nabulu navigate the vast wilderness of Ithumba, their graduation marks not just an endpoint in their Nursery journey but the beginning of a life filled with the freedom, challenges, and joys of the wild.

The DSWT community, alongside supporters worldwide, celebrates these remarkable mini matriarchs, wishing them a future enriched by the beauty of Tsavo’s landscapes and the camaraderie of their elephant family.

Read more Elephant News.

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