Are you a Tembo customer? If so, congratulations and thank you! You have helped an elephant or rhino in danger.
We believe that all businesses are in a unique position to influence and to collect funds for worthy causes. Why wouldn’t every business be involved in a worthy cause? We see it as a responsibility.
Tembo donates 1% of proceeds to The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Kenya. This charity has 2 main purposes; to stop the poaching of elephants & rhinos and to raise the orphaned children of the victims. They’ve roamed the earth for millennia, yet their very existence now hangs in the balance as mankind’s footprint continues to expand. This happens everyday, from the elephants orphaned due to human actions to the thousands of animals the SWT/KWS Mobile Veterinary Units treat for spear, snare and arrow wounds.
With wild spaces shrinking by the minute, long-term solutions are needed to ensure wildlife and mankind can coexist, while immediate interventions are essential to save lives today.
Our founder, Matt Fudge visiting the DSWT in 2015, before the birth of Tembo
Sattao: (Find more pics and info here: https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/orphans/sattao)
On 18th March 2017 KWS received a number of reports from visitors about a tiny orphaned baby elephant wandering alone and abandoned, very thin and with predator bites on his back legs. Our Keepers based at our Voi relocation unit were informed, as was the DSWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit and the DSWT/KWS De-Snaring Team operating within that area. The Rescue Team located the calf after a short search and it became clear that he was in desperate need of rescuing, and in fact with the infamous Tsavo lions plentiful in that area, it was a miracle that he was still alive. Small predators (we suspect jackals), had attacked his rear end and hind legs and hence due to his wounds coupled by poor condition, it was evident that we needed to respond fast. The reason behind him being abandoned remains a mystery, but there had been a couple of poaching causalities in the area around this time and it is possible that one of these victims was his mother. What often happens in such situations is that the calf remains with the herd, but as it loses strength due to a lack of milk, the herd is forced to abandon it when it can no longer keep up due to its weakened state. This is more than likely what transpired in this baby’s case, because he was incredibly thin and dehydrated when eventually found. It is hard to imagine how frightened and stressed he must have been, all alone in such a hostile environment!
In the early hours of 16th October, at the request of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) our SWT/KWS Canine Unit headed to Tsavo West National Park to help track down two suspected poachers, who had been spotted the evening before. The team convened with KWS and Tsavo Trust rangers to coordinate a search, and it was then they received a disturbing report; not far from where they were gathered, a patrolling aircraft had just sighted a tiny elephant calf standing beside the body of his deceased mother.
Knowing that time is of the essence in cases like these, the team immediately changed tack and headed in the direction of the calf and the mother’s carcass. At first, they thought that the pilot’s GPS coordinates had to be wrong. They were leading the men up an impossibly steep lava hill, with huge chunks of lava rock and thick vegetation impeding every step. It seemed like a very improbable place for an elephant mother to bring her calf. Despite this, they trekked on.
When they reached the top of the hill, the team was met with a heart-breaking sight, that of a beautiful female elephant lying dead with her nine-month-old calf standing by her side. He cut a tragic figure, huddled next to his mother’s body in this harsh terrain. Given the dense bush and jagged lava, the helicopter couldn’t even attempt landing in the area, and it quickly became clear that the only option was to descend the hill on foot with the calf. Although he was small, the orphan had lots of adrenaline pumping through his veins and vigorously resisted all efforts to shepherd him down the hill.
After several stop-and-go attempts, a brave few were able to descend with the calf — half carrying, half walking his resisting little body — and guide him to the road. By this time, the temperature was soaring, so the team waited in the shade of an acacia tree and poured cool water behind the baby’s ears and over his back. The SWT helicopter soon arrived with Justus, a very experienced Keeper, to bring the baby to the Nursery. They landed, strapped in their passenger, and headed in the direction of Nairobi. With a successful rescue under their belts, the SWT/KWS Canine Unit resumed their original mission of searching for signs of the poachers who had been reported the previous day.
At the Nursery, meanwhile, the Keepers were ready to meet their new arrival. As soon as the helicopter’s rotors stopped spinning, they ferried the precious bundle to his stockade. They had to make a hasty retreat after helping him to his feet because, despite being little, he still had a lot of fight in him. Over the intervening weeks, he has settled in beautifully and is enjoying all the attention lavished on him by the Keepers and the rest of the Nursery herd. We named him Roho, which means “spirit” in Swahili — an apt name for this brave little boy.
We can’t fathom why Roho’s mother climbed to that inhospitable place. An autopsy was inconclusive, so this particular mystery may remain unsolved. Given the reason that our teams had assembled there in the first place, however, it’s very possible that she brought her baby there in a desperate bid to retreat from poachers. Although she lost her own life, her efforts to protect her baby were not in vain. We’re immensely proud of our team’s heroic efforts to rescue little Roho, and we’re pleased that we can offer him a new family, and a future.