The DSWT has a rich and deeply rooted family history of wildlife conservation dating back to when the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was founded in 1977 by the late Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E. The trust was named in honour of the memory of her late husband David, famous naturalist and founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya.
To date the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has accomplished its long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo, claiming many healthy wild-born calves from former-orphaned elephants raised in our care.
‘Every 25 minutes an elephant is poached’ – DSWT
This is the sad statistic we are faced with today.
Tsavo has been the DSWT’s priority area since the inception of the Trust, for the name Sheldrick and Tsavo are synonymous; the late David Sheldrick having been responsible for the development of this virgin uncharted scrubland, which today holds the potential for the best long-term hope for the survival of a greater number of species than any other Park in the world.
Today the DSWT deploys eight full-time anti-poaching units, which patrol the sensitive boundaries of the greater Tsavo Conservation area (48,656kmsq) on foot and by vehicle.
During our time in Kenya, we were honoured enough to be introduced to these sweet little orphaned souls at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust @dswt. Animal conservation is something I hold extremely close to my heart. I was (and still do) feel extremely privileged to have spent some one on one time with these cheeky little rascals.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife trust, begun from the Sheldrick Family’s love for Kenya and the creatures that roamed in the wilderness. Today, DSWT is the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa if not the world.
“Animals are indeed more ancient, more complex and in many ways more sophisticated than us. They are more perfect because they remain within Nature’s fearful symmetry just as Nature intended. They should be respected and revered, but perhaps none more so than the elephant, the world’s most emotionally human land mammal.”
― Daphne Sheldrick
Currently, as of July 2018, there are 18 orphaned elephants in the nursery. Their mummas have either died of natural causes, been the victim of poaching, human conflict or just simply bad luck.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Fostering Program
We were extremely fortunate that DSWT allowed us to spend some extra one on one time with the cheeky little ratbags. Quite frankly, there aren’t many places on the planet that you can have this type of experience and interaction (or at least visit a place) that actually looks after the animals the way that they should.
After our visit we decided to adopt Jotto, a 2 year old male elephant who fell down a well. Luckily for Jotto his calls of distress was heard by the local herdsman. He was extremely malnourished and in serious need of help at the time he was found. Without @dswt I would hate to think what would have happened to him. Since arriving in March 2016, Jotto is now a cheeky little boy with a cool, calm and collected temperament.
For as little as $50USD per year anyone can adopt one of the young elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Also the $50 donation lets you visit the adopted elephant at any time for a year. Where you can have one on one time as they get fed and go to bed.
And it’s completely tax refundable.
The nursery is open to the public everyday from 11am-12noon and is a small $7 entrance fee which goes directly towards their conservation programs.
To foster one of these adorable (not so little) elephants click the DSWT link here
For private visits, please contact DSWT directly.
To my dear little one,
You grieve little one,
You love little one,
The suffering, the pain,
The heart ache when you fall down,
Deep, deep into the unknown.
You cry little one,
You hear your mumma,
You try and try,
Light turns into darkness.
It is just you, all alone.
The close your eyes,
You make some noise,
You hear some noise,
It is not your mumma,
You feel weak, it is hot.
You are thirsty, you cry,
You are hungry
There will be hope
There is hope right now
You see hope
You are saved little one,
You are not alone little one,
Your life has just begun,
It will be hard,
You will miss your family
Slowly, you will get there
To that cheeky little one
Take my hand
Show me you
I see you little one
I see you.
A poem by Keira Rumble