Every month we take a portion of our profit and adopt Orphan Animals at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This charity is based in Kenya and they nurse elephants, rhinos and giraffes back to health who've been affected by the poaching problem in Africa.
Know that your purchase is helping out a great cause.
Here are the animals we've adopted so far:
Happy Bloomers adopted on August 1st, 2019
"September of 2017 in the southern area of Tsavo an incredibly severe drought gripped the area, and the death toll for elephants was dramatic. This was through a lack of food and not water, but due to poor rains spanning a number of years things finally culminated in catastrophic circumstances for those elephants that chose to remain in this area of the Park, and not move while they could when the waterholes still remained with water to greener pastures. As it turns out the 2017 drought in Tsavo claimed approximately 400 elephant’s lives, the worst drought since the 1970's drought that ravaged the Tsavo elephant population. The victims were mainly the elderly and females who remained anchored close to water points due to their dependent young. During this time, when the situation required, our teams were frantically trying to save drought stricken orphaned babies, and aerial and ground patrols were carried out daily in the hopes of being able to help in time.
On the afternoon of the 25th of September while DSWT 'Works Manager' Trevor Jennings was on a routine inspection of the Trust funded water boreholes on the Dika plains, he came across a young abandoned elephant calf. She was approximately two years old, in a weakened condition, with a pride of lions lying perilously close under some bushes. Trevor immediately reported her situation to the Kenya Wildlife Service Park Management and mobilized more men to head to the scene to help with a rescue, and in the meantime while he waited for help to come he monitored proceedings closely. Thankfully due to the intense heat, despite being aware of her, the lions remained recumbent in the shade. Given that there were no elephants in the area, and that elephants were dying from drought in large numbers by this time, there was little doubt that she was an orphan, and that her mother was likely to be one of the casualties of this brutal dry season. With time running out, and with the risk of lions killing her before a rescue could be mounted, Trevor contacted the DSWT field headquarters at Kaluku to mobilize the Trust's helicopter to fly directly to the scene.
The Trust's field headquarters is situated approximately a 40 minute flight away so the aerial team wasted little time, mindful that if they were to get to site, fly the calf up to Nairobi that same day, they could not afford any further delay. The Trust's Voi Keepers in the meantime headed to the scene by vehicle as well to help mount the challenging rescue, because in the absence of KWS Vet Dr. Poghon, who was away at the time, this calf was going to have to be restrained by hand, all the while with a pride of lions resting under the nearby bushes! Once there the ground teams drove the vehicles as close as they could get to the calf before she turned tail and took off, at which point they hurriedly scrambled and took off after her.
Given her emaciated state she was unable to put up terribly much resistance and eventually, after a good long run, the men caught up with her and were able to restrain and capture her. The lions were perplexed by events, and took off in the opposite direction to rest under bushes further from the action. The vehicle manoeuvred to where she lay and many able bodies managed to haul her into the land cruiser to then drive her to a suitable bush landing pad, in a more open clearing. The timing was immaculate because no sooner had the vehicle got into position the helicopter could be heard in the distance.
Now it was time for the seamless operation of transferring the calf from the land cruiser into the helicopter to begin. This presented a further challenge given her size, but everyone was mindful that with a drought victim time is of the essence and that getting her quickly to Nairobi was vital if she was to survive. DSWT helicopter pilot Andy Payne is no stranger to transporting orphaned elephants, as it has been the rapid response the DSWT helicopter has afforded that has enabled us to save so many orphaned drought victims this year. Andy set about work directing operations as the calf was heaved into the aircraft. Once she was maneuvered into place she was strapped down securely before the helicopter took off, headed directly for the Trust's Nairobi Nursery. After a one and a half hour flight the Nursery Keepers were on hand to transfer the precious cargo into a prepared stockade at the Trust's Nairobi National Park Nursery, but once she got to her feet marveled at how a calf of that size managed to fit into the helicopter.
We named this calf Sagala after a mountain clearly visible from the Dika plains. Due to adrenaline coursing her veins she arrived with quite some fight and proceeded to stamp the blanket that had been used to cover her eyes into the ground! The Nursery orphans were by this stage back in their night stockades, and looked on at all the commotion, blase having seen it numerous times before. However their rumblings and interest could be heard all around, and this communication helped calm Sagala down. As is so often the case with starvation victims, the days that followed saw Sagala grow weaker despite taking her milk well, and she even collapsed a couple of times. Thankfully as the days passed her strength returned and it was not long before we could let her join the dependent orphans out in the Nairobi National Park.
Sagala is an extremely fortunate calf to have been sighted before she made a meal for a pride of lions, or worse still died from starvation. Trevor's fortuitous journey that afternoon saved her life, along with the rapid response of so many who were pivotal in getting her safely to the Trust's Nursery where specialist care was on hand. Sagala is a shy girl, who as of now has not been corrupted by naughty Esampu and her ilk! We are hopeful that being older she will resist the temptation and keep her mild manners."
- The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ( Story for Sagala)
Happy Bloomers adopted on July 1st, 2019
"After three days the decision was made to contact the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to come to his rescue. Aerial support from the DSWT Airwing was called in to help find the calf that morning, and thankfully early in the morning of the 23rd of March we found the calf. It did not take long to spot him from the air, as he was the only elephant for miles, and the ground teams were guided in by radio. Being young the capture was straight forward as being weak he put up little resistance. He was driven by the Rombo Station Kenya Wildlife Service rangers to the closest airstrip in Ziwani, which is quite a lengthy drive in the back of a land cruiser.
In the meantime, Angela Sheldrick had been informed of the rescue and plans had been put in place for a DSWT rescue team to depart from Nairobi in a Cessna Caravan, traveling the one hour flight to the Ziwani airstrip. On arrival they found the calf still recumbent in the back of a land cruiser, looking incredibly thin and dehydrated. The team took the precaution of immediately covering his eyes from the unforgiving sun, and placed him on a drip to help with his dehydrated condition before carefully loading him into the aircraft. As this was happening the team was again called by Angela this time with news that they would not be returning immediately to Nairobi with their casualty, but instead they would be flying onto the Voi airstrip located within Tsavo East National Park, this time to collect another young orphan just rescued after being first sighted by a tour driver. It was midday by the time the plane landed in Voi, and the newborn calf was already at the airstrip with DSWT Voi Keepers taking care of him. No time was wasted and he was immediately loaded into the back of the aircraft; now we had two orphaned elephants arranged in the back of the aircraft, each with a drip in place to help hydrate them throughout the journey. The team certainly had their hands full with two elephants on board for the flight back to base, and once there the unloading of their precious cargo required helping hands from various staff members within Wilson Airport, but thankfully everyone close to the plane was eager to help.
Once back at the Nairobi Nursery the older calf was placed in a stockade, and his infant companion placed in a stable, both with attentive Keepers by their side. It was anticipated the older calf was approximately 15 months old and the reason for him being orphaned remains a mystery to this day as no carcass was ever reported. He fed well on milk, but was not initially interested in the freshly cut greens placed in his stockade. He soon settled into his new routine and began to relish the available food, and grew stronger with each passing day.
We have named this brave boy Mundusi, after the area from which he came, and he is a wonderfully calm little bull, who thankfully has settled in beautifully, and is now stout and very healthy with little plump cheeks."
- The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ( Story for Mundusi)
Happy Bloomers adopted on July 1st, 2019
"He was flown to the Nairobi Nursery by Sky Vet, sparing him what would have been a grueling and very hot seven to eight hour journey by road and is the first time our Keepers had been involved in the rescue of an orphaned giraffe, they were fully briefed about the necessity to ensure the giraffe’s head remained upright at all times throughout the flight. On this occasion, the usual elephant-rescue tarpaulin had to be modified into a make-shift cradle and throughout the entire procedure, the little giraffe was seemingly totally resigned to whatever lay in store for him.
Sitting quietly with his neck sticking out, he calmly surveyed the scene, making no attempt whatsoever to break free as he was carried and loaded onto the plane. Airlifting him to Nairobi involved a one hour flight, thus sparing him the grueling journey. Upon arrival at the Nairobi Nursery, he was still amazingly trusting and even affectionate, happy to fraternize with the men who had rescued him - the veterinary team, the pilot, the Keepers, or whoever else happened to be passing by.
He has been named Kiko a name from Meru National Park, and he is now very much in the Nursery fold, not only with the company of his Keepers whom he loves but also some feathered friends in the form of Pea and Pod and our two latest little elephant arrivals. Both Weiwei and Loboito love to spend time under his belly resting their trunks on his side and neck, which he happily tolerates. Kiko is extremely playful these days with limbs splaying in all directions he hurtles around the car park and in the open forested glades letting off steam. "
- The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ( Story for Kiko)