The baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust get their bottles, Nairobi, Kenya, March 1st 2014
On March 1st I visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. This organisation takes in orphaned baby elephants. The babies lost their mothers, mostly due to poaching, and were sent to the Trust from all over Kenya. There, they are lovingly hand-raised for three years, after which they are put into a 5-year program to reintroduce them back into the wild.
It was one of the best experiences I have had the privilege to have in my life. What these people do is amazing. Their lives are dedicated entirely to the well-being of these beautiful babies, they even sleep alongside them in their stables.
Visitors are allowed near the elephants only one hour a day. You are lead to a patch of land, circled with nothing but a thin rope. At 11 am, there they are! They come galloping in, because the babies know they’re getting their bottle. They beeline for their keeper and slobber down two bottles of milk like it’s no big deal (the older ones are big enough to hold their own bottle, thankyouverymuch). After that it’s playtime - the area has a mudpool, and lots of delightful dirt and twigs to play with.
They are babies, so they are mischievous. They come up to you for attention! I cuddled them and scritched their trunks and their ears, got splashed with water and was absolutely black with dirt afterwards.
more informaton on the trust and how to donate can be found on their website. If you can spare it, consider donating something or even adopting one of the babies!
reblogging myself because a) BABY ELEPHANTS and b) I want more people to see the donate link because what these people do really is great
but for real getting to visit them and getting to see and cuddle the baby elephants genuinely was one of the greatest experiences of my life, I still get all misty-eyed when I think about how that is a thing that happened ;___;
check my photography blog out for more baby elephant pictures (I have five separate posts with pictures from the Sheldrick Trust) and for a little over 90 pictures from my trip (yes that many)