Notes from Africa: Visiting an Elephant Orphanage in Kenya

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Notes from Africa: Visiting an Elephant Orphanage in Kenya
By Ethel DeMarr

Elephant Orphanage

Elephant Orphanage

Today’s highlight was visiting this elephant orphanage. Since 1977, this amazing place has been rescuing baby elephants whose mothers have died, usually, killed by poachers.

Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

There are currently 26 little kids here now, ranging in age from one week to three years. At about age three, they are returned to the wild. But, a lone elephant will not easily fit into an existing social group. So the game keepers go with the animals and live in the bush with them, 24/7, until they are accepted by a group. This might take five years! The keepers teach them how to find food and water and how to live in the wild. After they are accepted, the keepers sometimes go to visit and elephants truly do have great memories.

Orphaned Baby Elephant with his Keeper

Orphaned Baby Elephant with his Keeper

At the orphanage, a baby is with a keeper 24/7. The keepers sleep with them in stalls, and stay with them all day outside. They have to have three huge bottles of a special milk formula every three hours. Elephants are extremely social, so they cannot bear to be alone at all. They wear the little blankets to keep them warm and to prevent pneumonia. In the wild, the babies are kept in the middle of the heard and protected.

Orphaned Baby Elephant in Kenya

Orphaned Baby Elephant in Kenya

The little babies follow the keepers just like they would their mom. We were able to pet them and watch them being fed. The little guy sitting down actually fell down. He was playing with his trunk, as though he had just discovered he had one! He was trying to swing it around in circles by moving his head quickly, but lost his balance! Too cute. I could have stayed all day. One of the sweetest places, with the kindest people.

From there, we visited Karen Blixen’s house (Out of Africa lady). Very interesting, especially if you were a fan of the movie, like me! Tomorrow we are off to the bush!

If You Go:

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Foster a Baby Elephant.

Ministry of Tourism – Kenya.

 

Read More of Ethel and Terry DeMarr’s Travels:

Isles of Scilly.

Notes from Cornwall: National Trails and National Trust.

Notes from Cornwall: Food and Random Thoughts.

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One Response to Notes from Africa: Visiting an Elephant Orphanage in Kenya

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