These Men Spend Their Nights Sleeping With Orphaned Elephants -Big Heart For Big Babies
Support from his sponsor enabled Edwin to leave his impoverished Kenyan town after high school and study computer science in Nairobi. During college, he offered to help a friend and earn some extra money by watching orphaned elephants overnight at a wildlife sanctuary. The job ended up lasting much longer than one night.
Edwin is head keeper and project manager at the world-renowned David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nairobi Nursery for Orphans. Through his work, Edwin educates dignitaries, celebrities and tourists from around the world who come to see the remarkable creatures he nurtures.
Edwin cares for baby elephants that come to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust as orphans. These calves have lost their mothers through ᴘᴏᴀᴄʜɪɴɢ ᴏʀ ɴᴀᴛᴜʀᴀʟ ᴅɪsᴀsᴛᴇʀs ᴀɴᴅ ᴀʀʀɪᴠᴇ ᴛʀᴀᴜᴍᴀᴛɪᴢᴇᴅ. Some are so depressed that they ᴅɪᴇ ᴏF ʙʀᴏᴋᴇɴ hearts. Edwin urges the distressed calves, “Please heal. Please fight. Don’t give up.”
Just like Edwin’s sponsor and local church nurtured his spiritual and physical needs, Edwin now does the same for the elephants — like the 6-month-old above named Musiara. Without their mothers, calves like Musiara have few survival skills and are particularly vulnerable to psychological despair.Newborn elephants weigh 170 to 250 pounds at birth. They drink about 3 gallons of milk per day and need the milk every three hours. That’s why Edwin arranges the schedules of 100 keepers so they will be with the calves 24 hours a day, providing a stable “family” environment. They play with them and care for them as a group during the day and sleep beside them in stables at night. Let the orphaned elephants feel warm, not feel abandoned.About 200 people a day visit the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, including groups of Kenyan schoolchildren. Edwin loves to educate children about the importance of caring for God’s creatures. “All animals have the right to life and protection,” he says. The wildlife trust releases about 12 rehabilitated elephants back into the wild each year. But preparing them for the wild takes at least five years, Edwin says. “We aim to send the elephant back into the wild around age 8. Since elephants are social and overall accepting, an orphaned elephant will find a herd to take them in and adopt them as family.”
Edwin never thought he’d become an elephant keeper as an adult. But now he can’t imagine life without the elephants. “Conservation is in my heart now. We are all God’s creatures, and I get to help vulnerable animals. I don’t want to leave this place.”They even sleep close by to the elephants so they can wake in the night to feed them. A keeper says “It feels the same to me as having my own babies in the same room. The young ones are very restless as well, just like human babies, and wake up often. The keepers make sure the babies are covered with blankets when the air gets chilly.When a baby wants milk, they often lose their own blanket! “Every three hours, you feel a trunk reach up and pull your blankets off!” one said
A lot of the keepers who have been doing this for a while now know when exactly the babies want to be fed, It’s like their minds are set to wake up every three hours. Once fed, they will watch over the babies until they fall back to sleep, They do snore sometimes.They trumpet and stay fast asleep, and kick their legs while they dream, too.