January 2018 – Abu Camp is delighted to announce the birth of a new male elephant calf into the Abu Herd. The calf was named Motlotlo, meaning “pride”, and was born to Lorato on Saturday 20 January, during the night.
Lorato’s calf takes some of his first few steps. Like all elephants, he was born thirsty – and endearingly wobbly.
He is the first calf to be born into the Abu Herd since Naledi, just over four years ago. Lorato mated on at least two occasions with wild elephant bulls, and the Abu Camp team has been expecting this happy event for some time now. Both mother and baby are doing well, and the new calf has been immediately welcomed into the Herd.
“This latest birth has come about as a result of the Abu Herd spending significant parts of each day roaming freely in the bush, before choosing to return to the camp each evening. Although it is early days yet, we hope that this new calf will ultimately be introduced into the wild, along with the other Herd members that have chosen to do so; this forms an integral part of our conservation programme at the camp”, said Abu Concession Manager, Roger Carloni.
Abu Camp guests now have a unique and wonderful opportunity to meet Lorato’s new calf, which already weighs an estimated 100 kg / 220 lb, during two set and carefully-controlled periods of elephant interaction each day. These interactions will take place from 06h00 to 08h00 and 17h00 to 18h30, with the strict controls being necessary to avoid any danger of stress to the calf or to the other Herd members.
The birth of Lorato’s first calf is a further testament to the important elephant conservation and research work being done at Abu Camp. While they are a part of the Abu Herd, each elephant is an eloquent ambassador for the conservation of its species and the habitats on which elephants depend.
By introducing elephants from the Abu Herd into the wild in Botswana’s remote and pristine Okavango Delta, Abu Camp is making a direct contribution to the future of Africa’s elephants. Each introduction also represents a rich learning opportunity, as local researchers can then track the now-completely wild elephants and learn more about their movements, interactions, and where they choose to spend their time.
“The birth of any elephant is a joyful occasion; a birth in the Abu Herd is doubly significant because of the role this young calf could one day play in helping to raise the profile of Botswana’s elephant conservation efforts”, concluded Carloni.