On the 19th of November 2020, this little bull calf was found in a deep hole by villagers of a place in central Tanzania, called Malamboni, close to Manyoni. They alerted TAWA (Tanzania Wildlife Authority) rangers who quickly came to the rescue and pulled the elephant out of the hole. Since there was an elephant herd nearby, the rangers tried to reunite the little calf with its mother, but unfortunately, the calf’s mother was not amongst them and it came back to the rangers for help.

The rangers had alerted Kilimanjaro Animal C.R.E.W. and whilst TAWA processed the permits for this orphaned elephant, Eli and Sele instantly got on the road with their horse transporter to come and rescue the tiny calf. The TAWA rangers embarked on driving towards them with the calf on the back of their pick-up. By two o’clock the next morning, Malamboni was safe at Makoa Farm.

Eli had to revive him twice – once during the transport and once back at Makoa. He is estimated to only be between six to eight weeks old, weighing a proud 113,9 kg. So far he is doing surprisingly well – definitely also due to the rapid collaboration of all parties involved! Time is of absolute essence during the rescue of any animal in distress, particularly when it is as young as this elephant.

Malamboni has the usual lesions around and in his mouth and a few areas on his feet that might still turn into wounds – time will tell. He is drinking his specialised milk every three hours and in between lots of rehydrants mixed with Moringa to help counteract his diarrhea.

Since the ICU was still occupied with a zebra foal and Malamboni did not show any signs of severe wounds or other serious medical issues, Malamboni could be accommodated straight away at the elephant house. He is in a separate enclosure, but right next to the other three elephants and they can all be in trunk-touch with each other. This is of great comfort and reassurance for Malamboni, helping his recovery from the stress of having been separated from his mother and herd. Like the other elephants and animals at Kilimanjaro Animal C.R.E.W., he also has human caretakers with him around the clock to keep him safe.


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