Miraculous Rescue: Saving a Vulnerable Baby Elephant in the Heart of Masai Mara

In a heartwarming mission on January 2, 2019, a team received a plea for help that set in motion the rescue of Larro, a defenseless baby elephant found alone in the expansive Ripoi area within the captivating realm of the Masai Mara.

Prompted by the local community’s alert, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) quickly confirmed that Larro, a small calf under a year old, was stranded without her mother.

The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, renowned for its wildlife rescue efforts, was contacted for assistance.

With the situation’s urgency in mind, Keepers from the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust swiftly gathered rescue equipment, including blankets, rope, tarp, and a vital first aid kit stocked with rehydration fluids.

Two dedicated Keepers journeyed to the Wilson Airport, where a chartered airplane awaited them.

Taking off before 3 pm, they landed at the Siana airstrip in the Masai Mara around 3:45 pm.

Guided by the KWS and Olarro Scouts, the Keepers hid Larro in a dense thicket. Collaborating with rangers and the local community, they cautiously approached the malnourished calf, calming her down and covering her face with a blanket.

The little elephant, estimated to be around ten months old, was then carefully transported to Wilson Airport, receiving intravenous fluids during the flight.

Once at Wilson Airport, Larro was driven to the Nairobi Nursery, where Enkesha, another resident elephant, warmly welcomed her.

After initial feedings and preventive measures, Larro, named after the place of her discovery, required round-the-clock care from Keepers and specialized formula milk.

Despite a fragile start, Larro gained strength during her five days in the stockade compound. Introduced to the herd, she quickly adapted, finding comfort in the friendly nature of her fellow elephant orphans.

During her initial weeks, Larro stayed close to her newfound friend, Luggard, exploring the forest at a gentler pace.

However, her adventurous spirit led to a playful mishap in a mud bath, requiring Keepers to rescue her.

Larro has developed a strong bond with her caregivers, preferring their company during forest excursions.

Larro’s orphaned status remains unconfirmed, but her origin in an area marked by increasing conflicts between humans and wildlife suggests a troubling trend.

In the months leading up to Larro’s rescue, the SWT/KWS Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit dealt with 28 incidents involving elephants speared or shot with arrows in the same region.

While most were successfully saved, a tragic incident on November 22, 2018, involved a lactating female elephant with a dependent calf.

The mother’s demise leaves the possibility that Larro is her offspring, having struggled alone until rescue.

This heartwarming tale highlights the dedicated efforts of wildlife conservationists in the face of human-wildlife conflicts, underscoring the importance of prompt action in preserving these majestic creatures.


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