Baby elephants need more than nourishment, they need nurturing and care. This is why we are proud of the Elephant caretakers at the orphanage, as they have learned quickly how to provide for the needs of the elephants, while expanding their skill set and knowledge. They are rapidly becoming Ambassadors of Conservation within their communities and show keen interest in further developing their new and exciting careers.
Keitumetse "KT" Masole
KT comes from Shakawe, the north-west area of Botswana. He has worked at EWB's Conservation Ecology Research Station in the Okavango, developing his skills in the field while living amongst elephants. He was in camp when orphaned Molelo arrived and they developed a close-knit bond, so when Molelo was moved to the Intensive Care Unit in Kasane, it was obvious KT had to be here too. The orphans respond well to KT, as he shows admirable care for them. Expressing his desire to advance his position, KT has been made a Supervisor, overseeing the daily activities at the Unit.
Baitseng Potwana “Mayo"
Baitseng is a very hard worker and has proven himself to be a leader amongst our staff, thus recently promoted to the Assistant Manager of the caretaking team. He was born and raised in Kazungula village. He used to work in the tourism/wildlife industry as an experienced wildlife tracker. Baitseng interacts with the orphans as if he has been doing this type of work his whole life. “In my spare time, I play soccer and am currently playing for Kazungula young fighters. I also enjoy bush outings and camping. I most enjoy talking to my community about my role as an elephant caretaker."
Gaongalwe Ditshwane "Ginger"
Ginger is in charge of the elephant kitchen: keeps supplies stocked, the kitchen sanitary and importantly makes certain that each recipe and milk bottles are precise, presently over 50 2L bottles a day! He takes pride in his work and has no problem ensuring everyone follows the kitchen rules. He spends his free time working in the garden. "I love working at EWB, helping with the orphans. I would love to see them grow into big elephants."
Oaitse Baakile "Metal"
In his quest to find greener pastures, Oaitse left his home town of Mmadinare and moved to Chobe, Kazungula. Never in his life has he thought of being so close to an elephant, as there are not many where he grew up. But, today he not only gets close, he takes care of them! "I have learned a lot about elephants that I didn't know and am excited about what the near future may bring."
Kearametse Haushiku “Metse"
Metse was born in Etsa 6, was living in Maun before coming to Kasane to work at the orphanage. By trait, he is a carpenter, likes art and to create things. He says its a privilege to work with the largest mammal and has learned that they are friendly, gentle giants. His favorite part of the day is taking the elephants on long walks.
Archford Masule “Sporo"
Sporo grew up on a farm, looking after his family livestock. That cultivated his passion for animals, hence inspiring his role as an elephant caretaker. “I came to EWB to learn about wild animals, especially elephants. The time I have already spent here, I've learned a lot about elephants and their behaviour. The name "sporo" was acquired from playing soccer, which is my favorite pastime. I am interested in medicinal plants and like to read books on their uses."
Hebert was born in Maun and lived in Sharobe and Makamalamabedi during his school years. As a young adult, he has worked in tourism and shifted efforts and worked with the Dept. of Wildlife & National Parks under the PAC (problem-animal control) division before coming to EWB. He prides himself as a soccer player for Chaucha United in the Okavango district and loves to go to church.
Amogelang "Karabo" Maruza
Karabo speaks Sesobea, coming from Kavimba village in the Chobe Enclave. HIs schooling years took him across country from Gantsi, Kazangula, Nata, back to Kasane, where he landed his first job working with us here, at EWB. We have discovered that Karabo is very talented in the art of drawing and one day he hopes to make a career with his natural talent.
Barati came from Etsha 6 in the Okavango District, moving to Chobe for his schooling years. He aspired to work in the tourism sector before he encountered the EWB program. Interested in learning more about conservation and our research, he applied to join the team. He is one of the newest members and is yet training, but advancing his skills and knowledge every day.
Kapasa Haushiku "KP"
KP had known about EWB and the orphanage because of his twin brother, Metse, who has been part of the team from the beginning stages of the program. KP had visited often, helped part-time and was eager to be a full-time Caretaker. His enthusiasm and desire to assist the elephants made it an easy decision to have him join our Care-taking family.
Pat joined the EWB team around the same time Boipuso came into our care. Despite he was new to the world of elephants, and especially taking care of a needy calf, Boipuso soon chose Pat as one of her favorites and together, they learned about their new environment together. For months, to ensure she did not reject her needed milk bottles, the other caretakers would wear Pat's coat because his smell would comfort her. It is obvious they still have a strong bond to date.
Khunou brings his good nature and patience to the EWB team, which is why the elephants welcomed his care and presence, very quickly. Khunou speaks Kalanga, born and raised in a small village, Tutume in the Central District. Before coming to EWB, he lived with his grandfather, looking over livestock at their cattle post. "I was very surprised when I came to EWB because I never thought of being so close to elephants before. I, and my family, are very proud of my job. I also enjoy playing soccer, as a goalkeeper, during my off days." says Khunou.
Kabo "KB" Kakana
KB has been a vital part of the EWB team for several years. He is flexible, reliable and "wears many hats." He accompanies the research team during field exercises, ensuring camp logistics, fills in at the Research Station and is one of our drivers. As the orphans came to us, KB took to the responsibility and scoped the communities for potential caretakers, introducing us to much of the staff now hired. He is EWB's main driver, so ensures the orphans have browse in the evenings when in the boma.
Shoni has worked for EWB for many years and through that time has expanded his skills and knowledge as an integral core member or our team. He is always willing to adjust and take on new responsibilities, working well with all the team members. When the orphans came under our care, Shoni was one of the first on the scene, assisting us through their critical times. Although he has many responsibilities, he fills in on elephant care shifts when needed and ensures their stocks are full.