On our trip to Kenya, we made sure to plan an extra day in Nairobi into our itinerary so we could visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) which is only open to the public from 11-12am daily.
This center rescues elephants and rehabilitates them for release back to the wild. In addition to the elephants, they have one adorable baby giraffe named Kiko.
The center also employs teams for anti-poaching and field veterinary services. For 500 KES or ~$5 USD the public can visit in the morning to see the elephants being bottle fed. Visitors stand in the roped off half circle and can watch the elephants covered in red soil come bounding in from the wooded area to take their bottle which was about the length of my arm.
-This one took it upon itself to disarm the handler of the feeding bottle and continue feeding blissfully-
There are currently about 32 orphan elephants and the keepers introduced each one along with their age and story of how they came to be at the center. Some were victims falling into wells, others of human violence. We had an adorable little elephant by the name Mbegu playing nearby to where we were standing which was the one we decided to foster.
For a donation of 5,000 KES ~$50 USD, visitors can foster these orphans, thereby providing funding to the center to save more lives. Foster parents receive a profile of their orphan and fostering certificate. Monthly they will receive a watercolor portrait by Angela Sheldrick, updates from the Keepers diary and news from the center. Since we were visiting in person, we received a very nice pamphlet as a keepsake. Visitors who foster an elephant can also come back at night to tuck their baby into bed.
We look forward to seeing updates on Mbegu and reading about the great work DSWT is doing across Kenya. Our donation will make an impact on her life and many other orphans. If you wish to have a baby elephant to call your own or are looking for a gift to someone special you can donate online and receive the monthly emailed updates and introductory info.