International Association for Impact Assessment

How IAIA members are supporting baby elephants

  • IAIA donating US$2 for every member survey completed

    How IAIA members are supporting baby elephants

    IAIA is in the midst of a member survey, asking our members to share their thoughts on both IAIA's services and on the state of impact assessment in general. For every survey completed, IAIA will donate US$2 (up to a maximum of US$1,000) to the fostering of baby elephants being sheltered at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.  The Trust fosters and rehabilitates injured and orphaned baby elephants and rhinos in Kenya.  Check out their rescue story of one such elephant, Musiara, below!

    >> Are you a current IAIA member that has not yet completed the survey? Check your email for the invitation and add your voice to the mix by 12 October!


    The Rescue Story of Musiara

    Information and photos provided by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

    GENDER: Male

    DATE OF BIRTH: Saturday, 3 December 2016

    AGE ON ARRIVAL: 6 weeks old

    LOCATION FOUND: Musiara Area in the Maasai Mara; Seen by a film crew trailing a wild herd 


    "This tiny calf was first observed by a film crew on the plains of the Maasai Mara and after hours of observation it became clear to them that something was definitely not as it should be, as the calf was very weak, and appeared a stranger to the herd. While the herd he was trailing were certainly curious of him, with one female in particular paying special attention, there were no lactating females present in the herd, and soon they left him behind while they moved on with their browsing. It was at this point the film crew first alerted the authorities and Warren Samuels called Angela and sent through photographs of the baby suspecting he was an orphan and might require rescuing.

    The Mara at the time was desperately dry, and it was clear the baby was emaciated and totally dehydrated, so with the wild herd forced to move on to sustain themselves in this dry and challenging time, the calf eventually lay down under the shade of a tree, vulnerable and alone, with his life force ebbing away rapidly. The Maasai Mara warden responded and drove to the site to be absolutely sure the baby was an orphan and in need of a rescue, but on arrival the calf was by now unresponsive, with only a faint heart beat evident of any life. The rescue was mobilized and the DSWT team flown in to the closest strip and the calf was delivered to the team in the back of the Mara Warden's landcruiser. It was evident that we were going to have a battle on our hands to retrieve this baby, whose plight remains a mystery to this day, because while he was first sighted trailing a herd of elephants in the Mara, his whole body, eyes, and mouth were caked in dried mud. It is possible he was stuck in the swamp, and managed to extract himself or was aided perhaps by the herd he was first discovered trailing - but we think before that happened he had spent a long while without his mother to be in such a critical state.

    He was placed on lifesaving drips and flown to Nairobi. While unloading his limp body into a stable of freshly cut hay I don’t think there were many amidst our team who secretly believed he could be saved as he appeared too far gone at the time, however we have known many miracles over the years, and that is one thing the DSWT teams are very aware of - never give up hope.

    Thanks to the intravenous hydration he was receiving he began to stir, and after a number of hours was able to be aided to his feet and fed diluted milk. This he slowly drank but soon collapsed once again. This pattern continued for days, with his trunk lying limp. But as the days passed time on his feet increased, and the strength in his lifeless trunk began to return, and he could begin to lift it himself, and move it, and in time even dust himself."

    Want more information on Musiara and other fostered elephants? Explore the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust website



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