Reteti Elephant Sanctuary Community United for Elephants
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An elephants trunk is their most versatile tool, it is used for breathing, smelling, trumpeting, touching, grasping for leaves ,sucking up and some times spraying out their water !This useful bit of equipment has 40,000 muscles ( compared to the human body which has just 639 muscles ) This gives you an an idea of how #amazing and #wonderful these animals are.
Rimland, a Reteti Keeper, sits with Kinya. She was found by Samburu warriors trapped in a hand-dug well in the Sera Wildlife Conservancy. After waiting close to 36 hours, Kinya's mother didn't return, so the team made the decision to bring her back to Reteti.
Photo by @amivitale.
Reteti Keeper Mary leads Shaba, Bawa and Pokot on their wilderness walk. Bawa has always shadowed Shaba. After his rescue, when Bawa was finally strong enough to start going out on walks, Shaba would never leave Bawa and Bawa would never leave Shaba.
Happy World Elephant Day, everyone! Here's Bawa strutting through camp.
Bawa came to us when he was only two-weeks-old, perhaps younger. He had gotten stuck and submerged in the mud for a long time near a dam in Maralal. His eyes were completely sunburned from staring up at the sun, and he had swallowed so very much mud. He skin was peeling from the burns when he arrived and he was very, very sick. When he arrived, the veterinarian who had examined him told us they had delivered a dead elephant. Bawa had arrived in such bad shape, the veterinarian did not think recovery was possible.
To save him, our team worked non-stop upwards of 48 hours, never leaving his side. He was on an IV drip and on oxygen. It took many weeks of dedicated work and loving care to help him recover. As you can see he is now a strong, healthy, big boy of seven months and a success story we are so glad to be able to share. If you are able, you can make a donation to help support little guys like Bawa through our website in celebration of the World Elephants Day. Photo by @amivitale. #elephants#retetielephants#northkenya#kenya#Namunyak#saveelephants@nrt_kenya@conservationorg@tusk_org@sararacamp@kenyawildlifeservice@sandiegozoo
High five! Thanks for all the great food! says Shaba to keeper Naomi around mealtime. Shaba can often be seen throwing out her trunk to give a greeting to those passing by.
A wild #elephant herd passes through an area south east of Reteti called #Loijuk. This is one of the herds the elephants we care for might be able to join once they are ready to return to the wild.
Although the #greatelephantcensus led by #vulcaninc showed an alarming decline of elephant populations across Africa between 2007 and 2014, there was more positive news in our area. The census showed an increase in elephant numbers in #northernkenya and the #tsavo and #amboseli ecosystems. There are currently an estimated 6,000 elephants in our area, and the proportion of illegally killed elephants has decreased 53% in the community conservancies of the Northern Rangelands Trust (@nrt_kenya), of which we are a part.
Shaba sniffs out her coming meal, a special formula that replaces mother’s milk and is given to the babies every three hours around the clock at Reteti. A recent study showed that elephants have the highest number of smell-receptor genes of any animal yet tested.
Photo by the amazing @amivitale. See her @natgeo story on Reteti today!
Shaba, just shy of two years old in this photo, is the proxy matriarch of the younger Reteti orphans. She is teaching them how to forage in the wild. Under the eye of caretakers, she leads her small herd into the bush outside the sanctuary, stripping leaves, tasting bark, pushing down small trees, taking mud baths.
Someone's a little hungry! Don't worry, Dorothy has a bottle for you!
Dorothy is one of our dedicated wildlife keepers recruited from the local community who is working to rehabilitate and return these elephants to the wild herds. She has said that the sanctuary has changed her feelings about elephants.
"What’s happening here at Reteti, without fanfare, is nothing less than the beginnings of a transformation in the way Samburus relate to wild animals they have long feared." @natgeo has published a beautiful story by photographer @amivitale in which she recounts the moving rescue of a young calf and details the important work being done at the sanctuary.
The link to the story is in our profile. If you like what you read, please consider making a donation to help support our work.
And they're off! The orphans head out on their daily walk followed closely by Mary who is keeping her eyes and ears alert. Out in the wild the orphans and keepers bump in to all sorts of wildlife including wild dogs and impala. They also come across wild elephant, and who knows the chances of meeting their own families are high! Join the herd by visiting www.retetielephants.org and sign up to our newsletter to hear more stories about the elephants. #elephants#retetielephants#northkenya
An elephant calf re united with its mother. With the RESCUE team on the ground and in the air a calf who was separated from its mother for 18 hours was able to be re united. This is always the first option for us at Reteti elephant sanctuary. As it gets dry up in north Kenya elephant calfs sometimes fall in to deep water wells, they get separated from their mothers when the samburu people and cattle come down to use the very same water. These wells are of cultural important to the people and the wildlife also depend on it at this time of year. It is not an option to close the wells, however we focus on putting a team out in these hot spots to make the wells safer for wildlife to drink from by digging an easy entry and exit slope, or by having a rescue team on scene when an animal is trapped in a well to remove it safely and re unite it with its family. This can be done successfully with dedicated rapid response team who have knowledge of the area the people and the wildlife. The calf in this photo was one of the lucky ones who made it safely back to its mother. Help us support the RESCUE rapid response team by visiting our website www.retetielephants #rescue#conservation#northkenya#kws@firstname.lastname@example.org@sararacamp#supercub#bushwheels#elephants
The dream team! This is the crew that saved this elephants life. Warges, a young bull who the #rescue team had been watching for a few months was seen in March. He was alone but seemed strong, so the team made the decision to monitor him, hoping that he would reunite with his herd.A week ago he was seen again looking very weak, injured and on the edge of life and death. Since rescue he has won the hearts of the entire team with his gentle and loving character. If you would like to help Warges on his journey of rehabilitation, please check out our website and donate on www.retetielephants.org #northkenya#retetielephants#kws#nrt#Warges
This is Shaba, she is an incredible elephant, she leads the Reteti herd in to the wild everyday. Her mother was killed by poachers but she knows the keepers are here to look after her. However anyone she is not familiar with and is not in the same keepers uniform she is very suspicious and untrusting of! #retetielephants#clevergirl#worthmorealive#northkenya#elephants thanks @amivitale for capturing this moment
Mike - always watching over Koitogo like a guardian angel! The only reason Koitogo is still standing today is due to Mike and his around the clock care and attention. Koitogo is only 2 weeks old and had a rough start to life, being born in a drought meant his mum didn't have enough milk to feed him and he got left behind as the herd moved on to find browse and water. Mike was due to go on leave a few days ago but insisted he stay until he feels Koitogo is out of the woods. #bethechange#northkenya#elephants#worthmorealive#love@nrt_kenya@kenyawildlifeservice@savetheelephants#retetielephants
After a long hot morning exploring in the wilderness it's time for the #retetielephants To have a mud bath, followed by a dusting. This is an important time of day for the elephants because not only does the mud cool them down but it also acts as a protective layer from the sun. It's also heaps of fun! Thanks for the beautiful photo @amivitale#elephants#northkenya#bethechange#climatechange#dust#r.e.s.c.u.e
Following Muma's tracks. This little calf had fallen in to a very deep well up in the mountains. Inaccessible by road or plane. When the #r.e.s.c.u.e team trekked up there on foot and swiftly and smoothly got him out of the well, they were quick to pick up the tracks of the calfs herd. They tracked them for 6 hours. This little calf leading the way. Sadly the herd had moved on quickly and we didn't manage to catch up with them. He is called Lekeji and is now settled in to the sanctuary. We can't wait for the day Lekeji can meet up with his mum and family on these very same mountain paths. #elephants#retetielephants#northkenya#climatechange#bethechange@nrt_kenya@conservationorg@tusk_org
Always keeping a watchful eye over their herd. The #retetielephants are grazing happily in the wild doing what elephants do best and their keepers are always within earshot. This is Mike, he knows this land well as when he was a young boy he grazed his goats around the very same rocks. Not a huge amount has changed except now he watches over elephants grazing instead of goats ! Photo by @amivitale#northkenya#climate change #bethechange#elephants
If it's been one of those days.... Sit back, relax and cover yourself in mud!
This is Loijipu, a black rhino who was very sadly abandoned by his mother at just 3 days old. He is getting a body rub from his keeper John, who has become a leading expert in hand rearing rhino. Loijipu couldn't be in better hands, and one day he will be heading back to Sera conservancy which is where his mother still lives! #northkenya#natureisspeaking#retetielephants#bethechange@kenyawildlifeservice@nrt_kenya