Lekupinai, one of our amazing keepers, provides intros to some of our gorgeous herd members during a nature walk. we are currently caring for 14 elephant calves. they were orphaned because of drought, human-wildlife conflict and poaching. someday, soon, we will reintroduce them to the reserves surrounding us so they may live free, as they were meant to do.
Loijipu is a majestic creature whose horn belongs to him alone. it has no medicinal power. its value is in its use as a tool for him, for digging, defending and guiding. we are angry and saddened by the decision of the chinese government to lift its 25 year ban on the sale of rhino horns (and tiger parts). it drives us to reflect on how privileged we are to know the amazing loijipu, how proud we are that he has begun his return to the wild and how determined we are to ensure his safety in the coming years.
we are proud of the conservation gains that have been made here in northern kenya, where rhinos have been successfully reintroduced and are flourishing. we are happy to have played some part in it. thank you for caring about loijipu and all #rhinos as we do. despite dispiriting news, you give us faith that these majestic creatures have a bright future on this planet.
Lchurai gives kapai a bit of trunk love. it's a gesture that is reassuring and comforting, like a hug or a handshake for humans. lchurai was rescued in march of 2017, a victim of the drought. she was very, very shy when she came in and kept to herself. but, she became fast friends with kapai, who arrived in jan. of this year. it's been beautiful to watch their relationship grow and heartening to see lchurai warm up.
Pokot thinks it's been far too long since he was featured. "hello!," he says. pokot was victim of the drought, rescued when he was just over a year old. today, at 27 months old, he's doing fabulously and is still a favorite in these parts and a champion football player.
photo by @katie.rowe
The incredible trunk. 44,000 muscles and a multitool like none other. look at it go! from the field at namunyak wildlife sanctuary in northern kenya. elephants here are vital to clearing the land so that grasses can grow, feeding bulk grazers, wild ones like onyx, buffalo, endangered grevy’s zebras, eland, as well as the beloved, all important cattle owned by the samburu people. this is one of the reasons the samburu people have become such dedicated protectors of elephants in the area.
Silas and leado, two of our veteran keepers, care for our little herd as mount lolmo'ngi towers over them in the background. according to leado, the best part of his job is taking the elephants on their nature walks and helping them look for browse. it's also a chance for the local community to get to know the elephants, and learn that they belong to them. on the other hand, he admits, the walks are the most challenging aspect of his job, since all of the elephants must be carefully monitored and the keepers must be sure everyone gets enough browse. since this lovely photo was taken in april 2017, the elephants have gotten a lot bigger and the love between all has only grown deeper.
❤️loijipu❤️ came to us when he was only two days old. in june, he began his re-introduction to the wild. this amazing video captured some of his time at the sanctuary and gives you a little insight into why we all adore him so much. he is still being cared for by a reteti team, just at another sanctuary where he will complete his transition to the wild. happy friday, everyone!
video by @amivitale for @conservationorg's #myafrica vr film which transports you to reteti to give a deep understanding of the work we do. thank you particularly to @glassybaby for making this film possible.
A wild herd in the area. one of the beautiful things about reteti is that we are located so close to where the elephant orphans we care for are located. this means, when our elephants are reintroduced to the wild, there is a very real chance they will be able to meet or even reunite with the herd they were originally separated from.
before reteti was founded, orphans had to be transported 240 miles away. reintroductions would happen in tsavo national park, in kenya's south. there was no chance they would ever encounter their kin again. it warms our hearts that today that is no longer true.