Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Delight of Baby Elephants

Seeing baby elephants was definitely on my Kenya bucket list, and we were lucky enough to see them on a private tour of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

First, a little bit about David Sheldrick's: the elephants we saw were part of the Orphans' Project. They rescue orphaned elephants that would otherwise die and reintegrate them into the wild after they pass the age of dependence on milk (about three years old).

Reasons these elephants are orphaned include poaching, human-wildlife conflict, and drought. Some simply got stuck in the mud or fell into a well. All of them owe their lives to David Sheldrick's, which has now successfully reintegrated over 200 rescued elephants into the wild!

So how was the visit? "Delightful" is the best word I can think of to describe it. The elephants were so happy and playful; they lifted everyone's spirits. You could really see the love the caretakers and the elephants have for each other, too! I was surprised at how coarse the hair on the elephants was and how messy they were (flinging mud everywhere).

They also chugged milk like champs.

I even took photos for work on a real camera! (I love being a PD Officer.) Those photos are for the Embassy's social media pages, though. M used my phone camera to take pictures for the blog.

P.S. You can foster an orphaned elephant for $50 a year and receive adorable updates on "your" elephant as well as lovely watercolor art. Learn more here. (Plus, there may be a future blog post about potential, purely hypothetical fostered baby elephants...)

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