Elephants are estimated to total only 415,000 in Africa, according to experts.
Elephants are hunted inhumanely for their ivory tusks, which are sold across the world. Illegal ivory is sold for $3,300 a kilogram, and the worldwide industry is estimated to be worth $23 billion per year.
Despite a ban on ivory trading in force since 1989, the illegal trade continues to thrive. A percentage of newborn elephants are now born without tusks as a result of the massive number of hunted elephants.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust comes to the rescue. They are a non-profit organization located in Kenya that “embraces any actions that complement the conservation, preservation, and protection of animals and environments,” according to their website.
In 1977, the group began its preservation efforts. Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick established it in memory of her illustrious naturalist husband, David Leslie William Sheldrick.
Their crew, together with Kenyans, is working together to safeguard newborn elephants, rhinos, and other exotic animals. They’ve also begun attempts to safeguard the woods so that orphaned animals can grow up in a secure habitat.
The men and women who look after the elephants at all hours of the day are the unsung heroes of the conservation effort. Even when they are sleeping, they look after the animals!
The elephant caretakers sleep in the barn with the elephants to ensure that someone is available to cater to the calves’ needs at all hours of the night.
A little-known truth is that baby elephants need to eat every three hours!
Their hard jobs require them to spend time away from their families and children. These amazing caregivers, treat the baby elephants as if they were their own children.
Orphaned animals, like human babies, cry out for their mothers at all hours of the night. Thankfully, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s team of guardians is on hand to assist them.
When the elephants wake up late at night, according to these loyal people, they reach for their trunks and rip the blanket off the sleeping caregiver. This signifies it’s time to feed the baby the bottle.
They help keep children warm and comfortable during the night. Caretakers must wrap a distressed newborn elephant in a blanket and snuggle with them like a mother would.
When the baby elephants are safe and warm, they may sleep soundly knowing that their carer is nearby. The newborn elephant can develop well in a warm and supportive environment.
Here’s a baby elephant up and about
The caretaker and the baby elephant have a deep relationship.
Their affection and care gives the babies a sense of security.
The attachment provides comfort to the calves during a difficult period in their lives.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has rescued and rehabilitated over 8,000 elephants since its founding 40 years ago! They have successfully reared and reintegrated 250 elephant calves back into the wild.
Organizations like the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the dedicated people behind them give orphaned animals hope for a brighter future. They’re facing a tough struggle, but they’re getting a lot of help from the Kenyan community as well as sympathetic individuals all around the world, which is helping them move on with their purpose.
While we may not all be able to sleep in the barn with them, we can all help groups like the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in their goal to create a secure home for these beautiful creatures.