Nairobi National Park, 7 km from Nairobi’s central business district and only 117 square kilometers in size, is an iconic symbol of Nairobi. Thousands of Nairobi residents, tourists and business travelers visit the park each month.
On 8th December 2016, Nature Kenya membership staff visited the park with Pam Davis, Director of Development, and Chris Magin, Senior Partner Development Africa, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in UK and Charles Mwangi a guide at Onsight expeditions, using the Nature Kenya Land rover. We enjoyed the park’s wide vistas, wildlife such as lions, giraffes, zebras, warthogs and different antelopes, and 66 different bird species including two groups of ostriches with over thirty chicks of different sizes.
As we walked along the river at the hippo pools, Kenneth and William, rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service, approached us and requested a hand to help pull out a stuck African Buffalo calf at the Oxbow lake, using Nature Kenya’s Land rover.
We drove to the Oxbow lake and found the African Buffalo calf halfway submerged in the semi dry mud, and the visible body parts covered with scaly skin and ticks. One of the rangers tied a thick rope onto the calf’s horns and “Pole! Pole! Pole! Pole!” ”slowly, slowly” the rangers gave a signal to Chris the driver of the moment to start the engine and try to pull out the calf. Chris at first was hesitant as he thought he would probably cause a whiplash injury and maybe end up killing the young buffalo.
His navigation skills came in handy as he engaged low gear and gently pulled out the calf without injuring it. Pulled to the bank of the drying oxbow lake, the calf still could not move, its limbs were numb and most probably it was dehydrated and starving. It looked like it had stayed in the mud overnight.
The rangers aided the calf to drink water by opening its mouth and forcing a water bottle in its mouth. After several attempts, the calf started kicking its hind legs and tried to stand on its own. It stood swaying and staggering, then tried short bouncy steps, gave a grunt – we suppose a “thank you” – walked away and started feeding.