The baby elephant – a sweet little male calf named Kithaka — needed to be transported to the Lewa airfield and then airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery. It was no easy feat for these heroic rangers, who needed to carefully guide and finagle the rambunctious, wobbly baby who was already about 200 pounds and had a tendency to wander.


Despite the torrential rainfall, Kithika’s plane safely landed at the Nursery well after dark. The video below follows Kithaka on his epic journey to his brand new home, where he was warmly welcomed by a herd of other rescue elephants. The adult females of the herd immediately fell in love with the new baby, and took him under their wing as their very own.

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Perhaps the sweetest moment of the video comes at the very end, when one of the keepers finds himself surrounded by the elephants and involved in a playful game of push-and-pull with Kithaka. There’s such a gentle understanding between the man and these majestic animals.