On October 5th, 2013 Ol Lentille Rangers on routine patrol sighted an abandoned baby elephant calf, estimated to be 18 months old. There were no other elephants in the area, and the fate of her mother remained unclear. The Rangers were posted on 24 hour follow-and-observe duty.
Next day a group of elephants approached the calf, and it was hoped that she would be reunited with her family but unfortunately the herd moved off seemingly disinterested in the lone baby.
On the 7th October we informed the Kenya Wildlife Service about the orphan. They contacted Angela Sheldrick who organised the capture and air evacuation. On arrival at the Ol Lentille airstrip at 3.10 pm we took the team led by Peter Mbulu immediately to the baby elephant.
The team and our Rangers efficiently approached the calf, were able to get close enough to it and when she charged threw a blanket over the calf’s head enabling them to grab her behind her ears, restrain and constrain her in no time at all. She was then subdued with tranquilizers to take the edge off her stress and driven back to the airstrip and loaded onto the plane. Total operation time 70 minutes!! The aircraft was airborne to Nairobi at 4.45 pm.
The young calf has been given the name Lentilli and has obviously been without her family and mum for sometime. She was reluctant to take her milk, and after feeding on greens in the stockade collapsed 24 hours later. She required a drip in order to gather strength enough to get back to her feet and it was some time before she would feed adequately in order to fully regain her strength.
Lentilli safely sedated
“Without health life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering”
Kimanjo Sub-District Hospital opening celebration
Upgraded before it started
In our last newsletter we reported the completion of the 24-bed Health Centre in Kimanjo. Well, the Ministry inspection team were so impressed with it that it actually opened as a Sub-District Hospital. This means it is entitled to a larger government budget, and to a full-time doctor. The doctor will start work in January. The serious business of fully equipping it will then start in collaboration with the government. Hearty thanks to the Ministry of Health and the Laikipia County government, especially the Health Executive, Dr. David Njoroge.
Our extraordinarily generous healthcare donor has also engineered a Partnership for us with AMPATH. This is a remarkable primary healthcare organisation in Kenya supported by the University of Indiana. It has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
AMPATH has assigned a Clinical Officer, Moses Nderu, to the Hospital; is providing the part time services of one of its finest doctors for training, mentoring and advice; and is using its medical and procurement knowledge and skills to help us equip the Hospital appropriately. CO Moses has already got off to a flying start.
As well as the new doctor and Moses, the Hospital has 2 government nurses, Christine and Senino. Simon Eiyapan is the community nurse employed by the Ol Lentille Trust. They are supported by 27 Trust Community Health Workers. We hope to have a Laboratory Technician in place in the next few months.
The Hospital Opening celebration
Santa comes to Ngabolo Primary School………….with unusual reindeer
Santa Claus arrived at Ngabolo School in some style just before Christmas. He flew in in Andrew Francombe’s new Raven II helicopter – our latest addition to Guest Activities at The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille.
Santa and the Raven II
The Raven II has 3 passenger seats, a music system (Ride of the Valkyries anyone?), a maximum speed of 150mph and a range of 560 kilometres. Flying time will cost $890 per hour. In case you are wondering – yes doors can be attached!
We used the Raven II to take this new shot of The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille.
Copyright 2014 Regenesis Limited & The Ol Lentille Trust
In this Issue
Santa Claus & the Raven II
The poaching problem
“It is absurd for a man to kill an elephant.”
the slaughter must stop
On December 14th we lost a mature male elephant to poachers in the far North of the Ol Lentille Conservancy. They fired 22 bullets at the poor creature before killing him. Due to the fast reaction of our Rangers, though, we recovered the ivory. Perhaps this particular gang of thugs will think twice before attacking again as they ended up with no reward.
This is the second elephant to have been slaughtered by poachers at Ol Lentille in our 8 years here. It has to stop.
In 2012 it is estimated that 30,000 elephants were killed in Africa, 384 of these in Kenya. The most in 3 decades. 2013 could be worse.
Much of the cause is the increasing affluence of China. There, 1kg of raw ivory can fetch as much as $2200. At source, of course, the value is much less, and the poacher gets the merest fraction of that – probably about $100 for a pair of tusks. But in a country where the minimum wage for a stock herder is $2 a day that is mighty attractive.
The ivory weight of the elephant killed here last month was 22kg. So we prevented some $50,000 of ivory getting into the market. Let’s hope the Kenya Wildlife Service have it safely under lock and key. That $50,000 could fund the basics of our conservation programme for a whole year.
Schools on the rise
secondary science and boarding for girls
We have completed construction of the Kimanjo Secondary Scool science laboratory.
Already, students’ understanding of the theories of science are taking on new meaning as they see and practice science. Thanks to the Friends of Ol Lentille Stichting and Wilde Ganzen of the Netherlands.
We have also completed, due to the generosity of Jon Diver, the Toy Trust, and the American Fund for Charities, a boarding house for girls at Raap Primary School. This development is more than ordinarily important. It’s been shown that offering boarding to Samburu girls reduces the incidence of teenage pregnancy, female genital mutilation, and early marriage.
“If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls”
Kenya Wildlife Service trains Ol Lentille Rangers
A second group of our Rangers spent 3 months at the KWS Law Enforcement Academy. They have returned keener than ever to protect the Conservancy and its wildlife. Out of 27 Rangers, 16 are now KWS-trained.
At New Year, guests were lucky enough to see eland and Grevy’s zebra in good numbers close to the lodge. Elephant abound, as do Burchell’s zebra, greater kudu, impala, and gazelle.
Operations Manager, Timothy ole Mosiany with the new Ol Lentille graduates of KWS Manyani pictured here in Tsavo National Park.