memories of 2011; Solango’s journey;
The keepers of the Voi unit were on a daily routine patrol to see if there were any problems, such as poachers, injured animals, and other. During their patrol they suddenly encountered Burra and Solango. Burra and Solango are senior orphans who are part of Emily’s group. Since X-mas 2007, after Mweiga’s death, Emily’s herd lives completely independent in the wild.
Solango was struggling with each step and moved like this on three legs forward centimeter for centimeter towards the Voi stockades. It was obvious that Solango suffered from tremendous pain. The keepers saw that he could not put any weight on his right hind leg. It was immediately clear that Solango was on his way home to the Voi stockades to ask for help, as he was so badly wounded. An elephant as heavily injured as Solango could be an easy target for lions when he would stay in the wild. The keepers accompanied Burra and Solango back to the orphanage step by step. After many hours, they reached the Voi Stockade. The injured Solango was exhausted after this long, heavy journey back home. When arriving back at the stockades with Solango and Burra under their care, they noticed Emily’s full herd who were already there waiting for them. Emily and the others wanted to be sure that Solango would be safe in the stockades.
For many years, this place was the safe home base of all, now senior-orphans. The place where they were raised and have prepared themselves step by step to live full independently in the wild. Now the place where the younger orphans are growing up, which, in addition to this group, are also preparing for their independent life in nature, step by step, partly with support and guidance from the senior orphans. The 11-year-old Solango knew he had to be back home for help when he was so badly injured. Not only he, but all other ex-people knew that he had to go back home to Voi to recover safely. That was also the reason that the whole herd led by Emily was waiting at the entrance from the Voi stockades till Burra and Solango and the keepers had arrived safely.
Luckily Solango had managed it, he was safe back home …!
In the Voi stockade the keepers and the vet examined the injured right hind leg. Solango suffered a lot of pain, but with all the patience of the world he let the veterinarian examine his injured leg. Unfortunately, they could not do much for Solango. The leg was broken and only time, rest and painkillers could help him recover from it. Fortunately, Solango was safe at home, he could stay here for as long as needed to recover.
Lesanju and the other younger orphans were very pleased with Solango’s stay with them. All the young males were very impressed with Solango. Especially the 5-year-old Siria was stuck on him. Siria had found in Solango a hero to look up to. Solango was as friendly as can be and everything was fine by him.
Not so long ago he was as small and young as them and he had looked up too to the older bulls such as Imenti, Ndume and Uaso. The stay in the stockade made Solango very good. Regularly Emily and the others came to the stockades to check on him in order to watch how his recovery was progressing and whether he had been restored enough to join back with them.
After 6 months Solango was recovered sufficiently to return to Emily’s herd. In the few months after that, Solango and Burra decided to split up from the big herd to join a group of bachelors like all males in puberty do.
Regularly they are looking for the others for a meet and greet and to join them every now and then.