Just like Elerai, who we rescued a few weeks back, Kitiak also had a deceptive outlook. Though he appeared youthful, his massive tusks made him look more aged than he truly was. After the SWT/KWS Mara Mobile Vet Unit scrutinized him, it turned out that Kitiak was too immature to be alone.
The wounds that he had sustained were particularly troubling. The Mara area is currently grappling with a significant human-wildlife conflict, and our crew is well-versed in detecting the signs of this issue. After examining him more closely, they determined that the punctures were caused by arrows.
The story of Kitiak’s beginnings and how he became an orphan is shrouded in mystery and may never be fully known. It’s possible that he was separated from his family during a conflict between humans and animals that left him wounded, or perhaps he faced challenges while living alone in the Mara.
After consulting with both the KWS and Mara management, they came to the decision to rescue the baby elephant. Despite its size, the rescue operation went smoothly and the calf was successfully transported to Olare Motorogi airstrip before being flown to Nairobi.
Kitiak’s upcoming adventure will occur in Nairobi and eventually the Tsavo ecosystem, yet his connection to the Mara will always be remembered. He was discovered near a temporary creek called Ntiakitiak, which resulted in his moniker Kitiak, serving as a permanent reminder of his origin.
Kitiak is a bull that displays independence and composure. He has a stoic demeanor and tends to be shy and submissive, often allowing younger bulls like Mukutan and Taabu to take charge during playtime. Despite his gentle nature, Kitiak has the strength to overpower them if he chose to do so. It is still uncertain if Kitiak will become more dominant with time or if he inherently exhibits a gentle personality.
Although reserved, Kitiak has formed strong bonds with Ahmed and Elerai. The trio enjoys spending peaceful moments wandering in the forest. It is heartening to see Kitiak content and surrounded by friends, despite his challenging past as a calf.