Kafue Release Facility
Born March 2013
Traumatised by losing his mother, during his first month of care, Nkala looked depressed, and struggled to socialise with the orphan herd.
In June 2013, Nkala was discovered wandering alone and distressed among cattle. His family herd had been driven away from agricultural land.
Fortunately for Nkala, farmers living near the Nkala Game Management Area had head a feature on identifying and responding to orphaned elephants on GRI’s community radio show and they contacted the Department of National Parks of Wildlife and GRI.
A team was deployed to rescue the abandoned calf. Nkala was only 3 months old and in desperate need of milk. At the GRI Kafue Release Facility he was stabilised under the care of the Wildlife Rangers before being flown to the Elephant Nursery in Lusaka. He needed round the clock care and milk feeds every three hours. Nkala was traumatised by losing his mother and during his first month of care, he looked depressed and was struggling to socialise with the orphan herd.
With consistent care and affection from his Rangers, tailored nutrition and a daily routine, Nkala recovered from his traumatic start to life and became an inquisitive and active young bull.
When he was three years old, he travelled back to the Release Facility to begin his journey back to the wild. Nkala is still a bit of a loner and is often found in his own little world. However, he has developed strong bonds with some of his surrogate siblings, especially Muchichili. The pair spar together often, and these interactions are usually instigated by Nkala. He loves to sleep with his head on Muchichili, with their trunks intertwined.
Nkala turned 10 years old this past quarter. Unlike last quarter, he has been showing dominance over Olimba rather than Mkaliva who he usually bullies. with the departure of Muchichili and Mulisani, who frequently engage in social play with Nkala, he has been spending his time actively exploring and grazing in the boma. Nkala has been enjoying the rainy season as there is plenty of food, and even in the boma, there is plentiful grass to graze on. He looks really healthy and his body condition is very good. He has recently been collared, in preparation for the next phase of his journey into the wild.