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Elvis Reunites With His Mother Mawingo

October 21, 2011

Mawingo is well-known on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. She is a partially blind 22-year old female black rhino. As a result of her blindness, whenever she gives birth, she ends up losing her calves. Her first one was eaten by hyenas and the second was devoured by a leopard. Her latest calf, Charlie, died as a result of a stomach illness. Her only surviving calves are Omni, Lola and Elvis who, soon after birth, were taken from Mawingo to be hand-reared for their own safety. Omni and Lola were moved to other conservancies but Elvis remains here with us on Lewa.

Elvis, her fifth calf, is Lewa’s most popular, friendly six year-old black rhino who is constantly up to all sorts of antics:  He can actually turn on taps for oh-so-refreshing drinks of clean water! He trims wall creepers around the office block, demolishes brick walls, scratches his itchy sides on any solid object and peeps inside doorways and windows while breaking panes. He doesn’t seem to know his own strength. He gently nudges cars and dents them in the process.  He takes shelter from the rain on many of our front porches...And the list goes on. Regardless, everyone just loves Elvis!

The funniest incident occurred years ago when he managed to get into his caregiver, Tula’s house and shut the door behind him. Tullah had actually gone out to look for Elvis. Elvis proceeded to make himself comfortable on Tula’s bed, which of course broke under his tremendous weight! He broke glasses and started fooling around with the pots and pans. The commotion caused so much noise and poor Tulah returned to his quarters to find Elvis fighting with a sufuria (saucepan). His sister, Lola, used to be his partner in crime but when she was translocated to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Elvis was all alone again with just us curious humans for company.

However, several weeks ago he was spotted with a new friend! We thought he had found himself a girlfriend but upon closer inspection we found that he was actually in the company of his mother Mawingo! We now believe that she has impeccable maternal instincts and once she bumped into Elvis, quite literally, she must have sensed that he was her long lost son.

And so Elvis is lonely no more! Mawingo still loses him occasionally and can be seen spinning around nervously searching for the slightest whiff of his scent. Once she picks it up, she rushes to his side, giving him the odd bump. It is rather amusing watching the two of them together.

Elvis seems to know that Mawingo is not quite used to us and does not bring her too close to the offices and staff quarters, preferring to keep her at a safer, comfortable distance. However, a couple of water taps have been found running in the middle of the night. Is Mawingo being taught a thing or two by her clever, cheeky son?