Sunday, November 12, 2006
From the Rough Guide coverage of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant and rhino orphanage
Posted by Richard Trillo at Sunday, November 12, 2006
After many years of trial and error, David Sheldrick's widow, Dame Daphne Sheldrick, and her staff, have become the world’s experts on hand-rearing baby elephants, sometimes from birth, using a specially devised milk formula for the youngest infants and assigning keepers to individual 24-hour physical guardian-ship of their charges, a responsibility that includes sleeping with them in their stables. Without the love of a surrogate family and plenty of playtime and stimulation, orphaned baby elephants fail to thrive: they can succumb to fatal infections when teething, and, if they physically survive, can grow up unhappy and badly prepared for reintroduction to the wild. At the time of writing, there were nine baby elephants at the orphanage and two partly rehabilitated young rhinos who make occasional and brief visits.