Baby Elephants at David Sheldricks Wildlife Trust

What is cuter than a baby elephant?






Nothing!

Aww


Over Easter I visited one of my favourite places in Nairobi - seriously everyone who visits me gets brought here - the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

With Emer and Eanna last summer


I arrived at the orphanage on the edge of Nairobi National Park just before feeding time at 11am, and as punctual as ever the first couple of elephants made an appearance exactly on the hour.


My favourite part is how they run into the feeding area in frenzied excitement wanting their milk. I even managed to catch some of it on the video I made which you can check out below.



           




What I didn't expect was two ostriches to also come trotting out along with the elephants... turns out two little chicks were found alone next to a rescued baby elephant and the DSWT thought they better bring them along as well or they would be eaten!

No man.. or ostrich.. gets left behind

After all the milk has been gulped its now time for play.


When I manage to get over the cuteness of the little ellies, I start to realise just how heartbreaking it is, all of these elephants (and ostriches) are here because they lost their mothers.


When I visited the orphanage there were 34 baby elephants, 5 of them had been found just the week before.


Very few of these elephants lost their mothers from natural causes, the majority of them were made orphans by ivory poaching or as a result of human wildlife conflict (the human population is increasing dramatically in Kenya and across Africa and requiring more and more land).


Without the work of the DSWT these poor infant elephants would die in the wild as they need their mothers milk to survive. The DSWT uses a special formula to modify milk so that it simulates an elephant mothers milk.


Since the DSWT was set up in 1977 by the remarkable Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick it has rescued and rehabilitated over 150 orphaned elephants and rhinos and then placed them back in the wild.
Amazing work!

This incredible work is meaningless however, if these rescued elephants suffer the same fate as their mothers as soon as they are released back into the wild. The iWorry Campaign set up by the DSWT to raise awareness highlights just how bad the problem is:

"One elephant is killed every 15 minutes"

36,000 elephants are killed annually across Africa, at this rate they may be entirely extinct by 2025.In the meantime the demand for ivory keeps increasing and driving up the consumer price so that now ivory is worth more than gold.

iWorry Campaign

Efforts have been made to stem the blood from poaching. In March of this year the Kenyan Government burnt 15 tons of ivory sending a strong message against elephant poaching and the ivory trade and China, the world's biggest market for ivory announced a one year ban on international ivory trade.

15 Tons of Ivory - photo credit: aljazerra

Yet these efforts alone are not enough as hundreds of elephants are still being killed for their tusks. Continued pressure needs to be applied in order to make a real difference.

He has the best job

Now for the fun bit... I know some of my readers are far more active than me, yes I am looking at all you gym bunnies out there, so I thought I would mention the Enormous Elephant Run which is taking place in London on the 6th of June and in Manchester on the 25th of July.

There is still time to sign up!



The run is 5 or 10km long and the catch... well you have to suit up in an elephant onesie!


The run raises money for the DSWT and all their little orphans which cost a staggering $900 a month to raise. Kudos to my friend Amy who will be running in London, RUN AMY RUN! Amy also wrote about the run and Faraja her adopted elephant on here blog Expat Diaries.

Faraja, Amy's adopted elephant

Yes that's right, you can adopt an elephant! Once you do the DSWT will give you special visiting hours so you can see your baby plus they will send you monthly updates on their progress.



           

Video of my trip to the orphanage

I know this post was somewhat different to my usual posts featuring me swanning around trying out various restaurants and hotels, but I genuinely think this is very important and I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Ash xx





Liakada

12 comments:

  1. What a great post elephants need to be protected they are such smart animals. The foundation looks like it does amazing work Lucy x

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    1. Thanks so much Lucy! It really is a wonderful place, there needs to be more like it!

      Ash | Liakada Travel

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  2. what a cool experience, they're so cute!!

    danielle | avec danielle

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    1. They are super cute! Especially the really tiny ones :)

      Ash | Liakada Travel

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  3. Awww, they're stunning! I love them.

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. Haha me too! So adorable, I love going to visit them!

      Ash | Liakada Travel

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  4. Your love for baby elephants is so sweet and it's great that you're brining awareness to the foundation :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

    x

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    1. Thanks so much Gabrielle, I have such a soft spot for animals!

      Ash | Liakada Travel

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  5. Great post - it's important to raise awareness about things close to our heart and this is a cause I can definitely relate to!

    www.LUXESSED.com

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    1. Thank you so much! I am really glad you enjoyed it.. I just thought I would try and do my little bit to help.

      Ash | Liakada Travel

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  6. Aw they are so cute! Nice post and a great cause!
    xx
    cvetybaby.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I know they are just adorable!

      Ash | Liakada Travel

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