Elvis is alive and kicking in Kenya

Say ‘jambo’ to a special black rhino named Elvis who we met on our recent travels in Kenya. He’s one of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy’s hand-reared black rhinos now successfully returned to the wild and is a real character.

Elvis was born to a blind mother who has sadly been unable to keep her calves for long before losing them. So when a calf is born to her in this well-known rhino sanctuary in the country’s Laikipia region, the conservancy sends out a team of rangers to watch her 24/7 so they can step in when it’s clear the calf is ‘lost’. The baby rhino is then rescued and hand-reared by an expert substitute parent who stays with the calf until the rhino is old enough to return to the wild. Apparently this process can take quite a while and in Elvis’ case it was not until he was four years old that he was encouraged to wander in the wild on Lewa alone.

Although he roams quite freely now on the reserve he’s often to be found in the daytime hanging about in the vicinity of the office block where he’s captured the affection of everyone who works there. As such he’s become a true ambassador for the black rhino, an endangered species which is naturally shy and elusive in the wild, occasionally allowing visitors to Lewa’s HQ from around the world an unusually close encounter.

It’s clear he’s really well-liked by everyone who works there – until he turns on the water tap that is. For Elvis has developed the clever knack of turning the tap on when he fancies a cooling drink of water in the hot part of the day.

Much to the annoyance of the staff, however, he’s not yet mastered the art of turning the tap off!

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3 Comments on “Elvis is alive and kicking in Kenya”

  1. themasaidiary March 27, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Reblogged this on The Maasai Diary and commented:
    I have had the pleasure to meet him!

  2. Greg Walkup May 15, 2013 at 1:14 am #

    Love this story! Have a group of 4th graders who created their own Elvis paper mache rhino to raise awareness. Check it out: facebook.com/ElvistheRhinoGreatAdventure

    • Ann & Steve May 29, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Great project!

      Sorry for delayed reply – been photographing in Namibia for past month.

      Steve & Ann

      Ann & Steve Toon Wildlife Photography

      Project African Rhino

      +44 1434 240021 email us

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