Rorogoi is one of the seven orphan baby elephants rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), whose names adorn our Elephant Strength Gin miniature bottles. We chose to foster these seven beautiful elephants as they’ve shown an incredible strength and persistence, overcoming terrible heartaches, unbelievable traumas, injuries and losses of their family.
DSWT was alerted on 9th of October 2013 by the Kenya Wildlife Service about an unusual situation: a 14 months old calf was found surviving over a month in isolation, independent of her mother, and herd, and all this amid people! The surrounding communities (Akamba, Duruma, Taita, and Kikuyus) could easily have messed with the animal given their lifestyles and economic activities, but she remained safe thanks to Mr. Steven Muinde, the owner of the farm on which this orphaned baby elephant found refuge.
Rorogoi was named after the area where she was found and the biggest mystery is how Rorogi found herself on Mr. Steven Muinde’s farm. The area is densely settled with plenty of agricultural activities and livestock. The distance between this farm and any nearby ranches associated with wildlife is great, and it remains unknown as to where Rorogoi’s herd actually originated from. The reason for Rorogoi being orphaned remains unknown too, but most likely a result of poaching or human wildlife conflict.
Rorogi by chance roamed onto elephant friendly Muinde’s 20 acre farm in Kwale County, where there was green vegetation, water for drinking and a small swamp for mud wallowing with some thickets here and there for hiding. She took refuge for all this time trying to remain safe. Thankfully it had recently rained which can be the only explanation of how Rorogoi managed to survive such a long period without her mother. She owes her life to a kind man who kept her from harms way, as the Duruma tribe in this region are extremely partial to elephant meat, and all forms of bush meat.
The DSWT’s Faru anti poaching team went together with KWS armed rangers to rescue her, found in emaciated condition, very thin and extremely fearful. She very soon latched onto her bottle and it was not long before she was out with the other orphans during the day in the park. However her first days were rather fraught as she remained extremely fearful of humans and would take off into the forest escaping from the Keepers and then be unable to find her way back to the Nursery herd. She soon settled down however, and is now comfortable with the Keepers, the visitors and relishes the company of the other orphans having been deprived of elephant company for so long. She is clearly a very robust little elephant who has survived so many traumas before being lucky enough to be rescued thanks to many people going out of their way to ensure help came her way.
Watch a rescue video here.
Information: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Photo credits: Freya Dowson