Mischief in the Mara


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These photos were taken in the Maasai Mara during a game drive. For more scenes of mischief visit Ailsa’s travel challenge at Where’s My Backpack

And now for a treat, and even more mischievous behaviour: a short film about Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. The baby elephants you will see in the film have all been orphaned, mostly due to ivory poaching or drought. Sheldrick discovered that orphaned infants will only survive if given 24 hours a day emotional support. At the orphanage each infant has a keeper who becomes its surrogate mother. The ultimate objective of the Sheldrick project is to restore these elephants to wild herds in Tsavo East National Park. This approach has had many successes, and in fact just before Christmas it was reported in the British press that one of Sheldrick’s former orphans had just given birth, back in the wilds with her own herd.



21 thoughts on “Mischief in the Mara

  1. Whao, thank you for sharing this video.

    Incredible commitment there – saving orphaned elephants/Black Rhinos. Hope the ivory poachers get to see this, to learnt of the impacts of their actions.

    1. Daphne Sheldrick does indeed deserve high praise, Janet. Ele babies die so quickly without their mother. She seems to have doggedly persisted where others have given up. Cracking the milk formula was a huge breakthrough. The emotional support system is truly something else!

  2. I had no idea there are elephant orphanages, and I am glad that they are being taken care of. These photos are fantastic. How close did you come?

  3. Beautiful Ellie photos! How sad that the bay elephants lose their moms to the horrid poachers. The video was so heartwarming. It was great to see how well they are cared for in the orphanage. 🙂

    1. The orphanage is amazing. We went a couple of times when we lived in Nairobi. But also the commitment of re-introducing the orphans into the wild. That is a real labour of love.

    1. Yes, Jo, I so admire Daphne Sheldrick’s tenacity. She must have had, and still have many heart-breaking moments. The poaching in Tsavo East – a vast vast territory is indeed almost impossible to control. The border with Somalia is very ‘porous’, and you’d need an occupying army to close that access. Only way to stop poaching, I think, is to focus on the buyers, and there are signs that some ivory using countries are responding to pressure – Vietnam I believe, and Hongkong.

  4. So much effort, love, and kindness for save these baby elephants. Additionally, it takes knowledge, skills, and patience… Great information to share. Thank you so much, Tish. Btw, This video reminded me a 3D movie that I watched a couple of years ago that was similar to this video.

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