Oʀᴘʜᴀɴᴇᴅ elephants always line up to hug woman who sᴀᴠᴇᴅ their lives
Just as many other wild species, the African elephants population have dramatically declined due to ᴘᴏᴀᴄʜɪɴɢ, over the last years. Every year, countless of these giant mammals are ʜᴜɴᴛᴇᴅ, because of their tusks, leaving behind lots of helpless Oʀᴘʜᴀɴᴇᴅ babies. Fortunately, some of these orphan elephants end up being ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇᴅ. Nairobi Elephant Orphanage in Kenya is one of the few places, where Oʀᴘʜᴀɴᴇᴅ baby elephants find protection and comfort.
Some of the baby elephants become ᴇɴsɴᴀʀᴇᴅ in human-made traps, while others stumble and fall into abandoned wells, but the majority were left orphans after their mothers were ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ for their tusks. The babies are sᴜʀᴠɪᴠɪɴɢ because of the efforts of Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who has devoted her life to ʀᴇsᴄᴜɪɴɢ the Oʀᴘʜᴀɴᴇᴅ animals. Without human intervention, these babies almost certainly would have ᴅɪᴇᴅ, because they’re dependent on their mother’s milk for the first two years of their lives, and it takes another two years before they’re completely weaned. Daphne, who developed a formula consisting of human infant formula infused with vegetable fat and coconut oil, is the first person to successfully raise an infant elephant. For more than 40 years, Dame Daphne has successfully hand-reared newborn elephants, preparing them for return to the wild on her elephant orphanage near Nairobi. She is the first person to have perfected a milk formula that mimics a mother elephant’s milk. She says the Oʀᴘʜᴀɴᴇᴅ elephants have not only inspired her pioneering conservation work through the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, they have taught her much about living. “Elephants have taught me how to put the ʙᴀᴅ things behind turn the page and get on with living,” she says. “Understanding the ᴛʀᴀᴜᴍᴀs that elephants have to put up with and how they cope with it has made me a stronger person.
“Their sense of family is as strong as ours. Their memories are amazing and their convoluted thinking and reasoning is equal to that of a human … The caring and nurturing is far greater in elephants than it is in humans, and loyalty and friendship endures.”