Sunday, November 12, 2006

From the Rough Guide coverage of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant and rhino orphanage

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.

1 comment:

  1. News from a reader. Can anyone confirm the latest position?

    "I was in Kenya for a month for work and wanted to send you an update on the very popular Sheldrick elephant orphanage in Nairobi. As of October 2007, the alleged “new rule” imposed by the KWS requires those who want to visit the Sheldrick orphanage to pay the full Nairobi NP admission fee ($40 for nonresidents), in addition to the customary KSh 500 donation to Sheldrick and KSh 300 for parking. The only way this might work out for visitors is to do an early morning game drive in the Park and then go on to Sheldrick for the 11 a.m.-noon elephant feeding. I would note also that the park fee collected at the entrance adjoining the elephant orphanage is payable only in cash and not via the Smart Card system in use at the main gate. We were skeptical that the park fees paid in cash at the Sheldrick entrance would be honored at the main gate, and in any case, noon is not an ideal time for viewing animals in the park, so we decided not to go in."