Almost unbelievable, it’s estimated that over 20,000 elephants are poached each year for their ivory leaving many orphans behind. Fortunately, despite this heartbreaking tragedy, there are some people helping to fight for the lives of these precious babies.
One such person is Dr. Daphne Sheldrick of the The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This trust exists to protect Africa’s wildlife and to preserve habitats for the future of all wild species. They’re saving elephants and the elephants appreciate it!
As the elephants are hunted each day, the wildlife trust is fighting even harder to save them. In response, they have created an orphanage to care for the orphaned elephant calves. There, the calves are protected and cared for, despite their harsh beginnings and heartbreaking cause of their being there.
For over 50 years, Dr. Sheldrick has been raising baby elephants that have lost their mothers and families in Nairobi. She works tirelessly to replace the physical and emotional nourishing the babies would have received from their elephant families.
Elephants live in very strong family groups and baby elephants require lots of care and attention. Without the love and support of family, the babies will die. Once grown, they live up to 80 years in tight knit family groups. It is only because of people like Dr. Sheldrick and her team that they survive.
The adorable elephant babies appreciate Dr. Sheldrick and show their love to her. The elephants line up for their big dose of love and attention from her as they are cared for around the clock.
Caring for the precious baby elephants is not easy nor is it a one way street. Dr. Sheldrick said she also learned a lot from the elephants. The older elephants at the orphanage also play a huge role in helping the newcomers over the stress and shock of losing their loved ones. They comfort and help the babies past the few scary days so they have the best chance of survival. She said:
“Elephants have taught me how to put the bad things behind turn the page and get on with living,” she said. “Understanding the traumas that elephants have to put up with and how they cope with it has made me a stronger person.”
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