As part of our stay in Nairobi, we visited The David Sheldrik Wildlife Orphanage. Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today 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. The Orphans’ Project exists to offer hope for the future of Kenya’s threatened elephant and rhino populations as they struggle against the threat of poaching for their ivory and horn, and the loss of habitat due to human population pressures and conflict, deforestation and drought. 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.
At the orphanage, we together with other tourists and a whole class of Kenyanian school children got to see and touch! the baby elephants! It was great fun to watch them down a giant baby bottle of milk in seconds and then to cajole the keepers for some fresh greens. Right at the end, Zara and I were able to touch the elephants up close and poor Bailey found herself sandwiched between them!