This week, our large group of 15 finally managed to leave Nairobi in time to visit the baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (you have to be there before 11am!). The trust is dedicated to the protection and preservations of Africa's wilderness and it's denizens, particularly endangered species such as elephants and Black Rhino.
All the elephant orphans raised by the Trust are gradually rehabilitated back into the wild elephant community of Tsavo National Park when grown, a transition that is made at their own pace and in their own time, but usually taking approximately eight to ten years. A number of our ex Nursery orphans have now had wild born young which they have brought back to show their erstwhile human family, and others are now pregnant and living free, yet keeping in touch with those who are still Keeper dependent. Amongst these are many orphaned too young to have any recollection of their elephant mother or family.
When the baby elephants trot in, they go straight for the milk - bear in mind that the composition of the fat content of elephants’ milk is very different from that of cows’ milk, added to which evidence suggests the actual protein and fat composition of elephants’ milk varies during different stages of lactation (usually up to 2 ears) to cater for the growing needs of a baby:
Karanja and Gitau were really keen to pet the elephants:
After feeding, the baby elephants like to play in the mud (it protects their skin from the sun, but also looks like incredible fun!)
Some elephants choose to poop right there in front of everyone too:
Whaaaat? You would have taken a picture too, if you had seen it!
Sylvester and Karanja look on as the elephants play in the mud:
This baby elephant loved Gitau and would not leave his side!
On our way out, we saw Maxwell, the blind but gentle rhino:
A big thank you to Tal at the David Sheldrick Trust for sorting us out :-)