This is the team. These are the amazing people who give all of their love and attention to 13 #elephants and one #rhino, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Reteti keepers, we have nothing but gratitude and admiration for all that you do. You are our heroes. Photo by @katie.rowe
Loijipu, the Reteti resident orphaned #rhino, who is not so little anymore, meanders through the landscape here on #Namunyak Conservancy in Northern #Kenya. He came to us when he was just two days old. Now, he is two years old. He has gotten big and strong in the care of his three devoted keepers and is developing a nice big horn. He is preparing himself for the wild. We will be re-introducing him into the sanctuary where he was found this year.
Lemorijo gives himself a bath. Lemorijo arrived by @tropicairkenya helicopter when he was about 2-3 months old. He was found abandoned. From his arrival, he was strong and drinking well. As you can see from this luxurious bath, he continues to do well.
Video by @katie.rowe
Dorothy feeds Mottoh. Mottoh is our most recent arrival. He was rescued from Sera Conservancy and has been taken in by Shaba, who won't leave his side. Mottoh injured his front feet when he fell into a well, but he is recovering well under the expert care of Dorothy and the other keepers.
The wait... Any minute now, a small herd of small elephants is going to rush through the gates, into the boma, hungry and looking for their milk. Our amazing Reteti Keeper team (in their new t-shirts) is ready for them. Keeping the elephants fed is a full time job for our over 40 dedicated keepers. Half-gallon-size bottles of special formula are given every three hours around the clock in a messy, slurpy exchange.
Photo by @sararacamp
It is not only elephants who we care for here at Reteti. We also have giraffe, endangered grevy's zebra, and, of course, Loijipu, a sweet, typical, little black rhino. His name means "to follow" or "second in line," and he was named for where he was found. Here, he is pictured with his dedicated keeper, Kamara.
He came to us when he was only 2 days old. He was tiny - no bigger than a dinner plate. We could carry him around in our arms with ease. He had been abandoned by his mother, who had gone to browse and left him behind. While she was gone, some curious researchers had gotten too close to the newborn. When his mother returned, she could smell the humans on him and rejected him.
Although it pains us that he was not able to stay with his mother, he has thrived at Reteti and we have treasured him. He adores his three dedicated keepers and follows them everywhere. He has gotten big and strong in their care and it developing a nice big horn. He is preparing himself for the wild.
This year, we will be re-introduting Loijipu into the wild. He will return to the sanctuary where he was found and where his mother still lives. In fact, he will probably meet her there, a thought which brings us joy.
Our friends at @miakoraltd make these beautiful Reteti inspired scarves that help us care for our elephants. 40% of sales from all of the Mia Kora charity collection are donated to @r.e.s.c.u.e to help provide vitamins for the calves here.
You can find them online or you can attend the Zen Garden Fashion High Tea 2018 in Nairobi on the 3rd and 4th of March. Hope you can make it!