For ages, elephants of the northern region have used a well-known pathway to journey down towards Laikipia from the north. However, due to severe drought and growing human-wildlife conflicts, this area has suffered a tragic loss of elephants, including a considerable number of lactating females.
Unfortunately, on January 18th, 2022, another orphan elephant was discovered by scouts at Loisaba Conservancy, and we were contacted immediately. The baby elephant was in a terrible state – weak, undernourished, and alone for an extended period. Experts estimate that the calf was around two and a half years old, indicating a strong dependence on milk, but also a significant size and weight.
Given his precarious condition, we had to act quickly. To avoid any risks, we decided to transport him to Nairobi via our specialized elephant moving truck, which we drove up to Loisaba Conservancy. Our goal was to ensure Lodo’s safety and wellbeing, and we did everything in our power to make it happen.
Lodo, the calf, was given its name after a nearby lugga where it was rescued. This would ensure that he never forgets his place of origin as he bids farewell to Laikipia. The journey to Nairobi was long, but Lodo managed it well. He enjoyed fresh greens during the trip, and the Keepers kept him hydrated. Upon arrival at the Nursery, he was housed between Suguroi and Barnoti. During his time in the stockade, Lodo and Barnoti became close friends. By the time he was ready to join the other orphans, Lodo already felt like he belonged to the group.
Lodo is typically known for being a calm and easygoing guy, but like many others who have experienced starvation, he has developed an intense craving for milk. Once he’s had his fill, he may become unusually aggressive in his efforts to secure more from his Keeper. While he’s always been good friends with Barnoti, Lodo has also formed a strong bond with Rama, perhaps drawn to his peaceful demeanor.
Above everything else, Lodo is a complete homebody. The Keepers have stated that he adores his stockade and looks forward to returning to it every night. Unlike the other orphans who take their time to get settled for bedtime, Lodo has no hesitation and is one of the first ones to fall asleep, with his tummy rhythmically rising and falling with each peaceful breath. After a tumultuous start to life, this little calf must be so grateful to have found a safe space that he can call his own.