Tag Archives: wildlife

My foster elephant Edo, a great success of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

23 Dec
Edo - Photo from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Edo – Photo from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

In 2004 I was trying to think of a thoughtful Christmas gift for my teenage daughter, and I remembered The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust offered a Christmas foster program. Since I’ve been an elephant lover since I was a child, both of my children have been raised with elephant awareness and have appreciated my “obsession” with them. In fact, all three of us have elephant tattoo’s now – but that will be another blog soon.

Christmas 2004 I browsed through the Trust’s website to select an elephant to foster. There were many infants that had been recently rescued, and many toddlers as well. All so adorable, and all with heartbreaking stories about why they were there. The decision was becoming harder and harder the more I read. Knowing that any donation helps the entire Trust, I decided to search for an ele that made some sort of a family connection with us. After eventually reading every profile, I was drawn to Edo. Beginning with his name, Edo was also a restaurant in our town that we frequented as a family. We had a lot of good memories there (it is now closed) so his name drew my attention. Edo was 15 yrs old, similar to my daughters age, so I imagined her and him “growing up” together. He is also a strong survivor and a true testament to the incredible work The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust does.  His story is amazing, and as they say – an elephant never forgets. He returns to the stockades to visit the orphans and keepers, and oh how I wish I could meet him one day. Going to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is #1 on my bucket list!

Exerpts from Edo’s profile, which can be found HERE:

Edo is the son of Emily, the elder sister to the now famous Echo, the star of many books and films. Emily was the Matriarch of the unit known for Scientific purposes as The E Group, but sadly she died as a result of foraging in the rubbish pit of a nearby Safari Lodge, and in amongst the peelings of fruit and vegetables, which were the draw in the first place, were bottle-tops, broken glass, torch cells and even an ash-tray, all of which she ingested, and were revealed in amongst the stomach contents during a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of death. Edo, her calf, was 6 months at the time, having been born in March 1989.

Edo was rescued by the Trust…
He was lifted out of the car, and collapsed in a heap on the ground, apparently too weak to even stand. Clearly, he no longer had even the will to try and live, so we sent for the other orphans, who surrounded him. Dika touched his face gently with a trunk, and then a miracle took place before our very eyes – Edo opened glazed eyes, and a spark of recognition ignited them. We offered Dika a bottle of milk, which he downed gratefully, then another, and another, watched all the while by Edo. With the help of the Keepers Edo was then lifted to his feet, and like Dika, offered a bottle of milk, which he drank hungrily and gratefully. In all, he took 6 pints straight off, and would have liked more, but we knew that this would be dangerous on a starved stomach. He was nevertheless visibly much stronger, and calmly accompanied the other orphans to their noon mudbath, where hordes of visitors anxiously awaited their arrival.

Amazingly, Edo had no fear of the humans, having been used to the attentions of the monitoring Scientists ever since birth. He watched the other orphans romping in the mudbath, and playing with the football, and although he did not want to be part of such frivolity, he merely stood aside and made no attempt to escape. From that day on Edo, never looked back, and very soon was again the playful youngster of yore, completing his infancy in the Nursery along with his peers, and eventually moving with them to begin the re-integration back into the Tsavo East elephant population, as do all our orphans.

Edo last returned to the stockades in February 2008 for a visit. I check the Trust’s website on a regular basis, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. They’re very good about posting updates daily, with photos and sometimes video. I am hoping to one day see a post about Edo coming for a visit.

Since 2004 I have fostered Edo every year as a Christmas gift for my daughter. She is now an adult, married, with a career, but it is something I will always do for as long as I can.  One of the first few years, I went on the website and printed out all of the material I could about Edo and the Trust and put it in a nice 3 ring binder. So she has something she can pull out every year and look at. I also print out the foster certificate you receive when you commit to foster and give it to her to put in the binder. The joy we receive is nothing compared to the joy that the good people at the Trust must experience every time they nurse a baby back to health, and reintroduce them back into the herds. I wish I could do more, but I know that I am not alone in the will to help any elephant, any way, I can.

For anyone interested in fostering an elephant, please visit the Trust’s website at www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

Holiday cheers to all,

~ LT

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An African Love Story – by Dame Daphne Sheldrick

7 Mar
Daphne Sheldrick

An African Love Story

After supporting and following the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for the past 10 years, I was more than thrilled to hear of Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s plans to write an autobiography. Appropriately titled, “An African Love Story – Love, Life and Elephants”, Sheldrick eloquently brings readers along an amazing journey from childhood through today, with an incredible story only someone of her rare privilege could possibly tell.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust fosters baby elephants and rhinos in Tsavo National Park in Nairobi, Kenya. The babies fall victim to parental loss due largely to poaching, or some other human created death. They’re nursed to health at the orphanage and then eventually released back into the wild.

The book was released in the UK on March 1st, and is available in the USA by clicking here: http://www.thedswt.org.uk/LLE.html

Proceeds from the book purchased using the above link will go direct to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.


An excellent article about Daphne Sheldrick in The Telegraph:

The woman who fosters elephants in Kenya – Telegraph.

Worth the read…she is truly one of the world’s most remarkable women.

If you’re interested in fostering an elephant, contact the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for more information.

Why Elephants?

5 Mar

Elephant

When I was 9 years old my grandmother took me garage sale shopping with her and gave me $5.00 to spend on anything I wanted, because she was of course, the best grandmother ever. I spotted a little ceramic life-like elephant figurine and bought it in a flash. As I grew up I cherished that figurine, set it on every dresser everywhere I lived, dusted it and polished it, and somehow bonded with the elephant species in general. It was also the beginning of my “elephant collection” of elephant figurines, and what would later become my collection of “all things elephants” which includes anything from elephants jewelry to elephant furniture to an elephant shaped teapot.

When I was 14 my father and step mother took me and my little sisters to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, which is an African themed amusement park. One of the popular children’s attraction was the elephant rides. As we stood in line I stared at the elephant as she walked in circles with children on her back, and even at my young age I noticed a look of misery and felt so very sorry for her. I stepped out of line, no longer interested in the ride. I never again went to another zoo or circus.

Fast forward to the early 2000’s…as I’m searching through dozens of web hosting companies for my new real estate website business, I came across a Canadian based company named “Elehost”. After checking them out it was an easy decision to give them my business. Their web hosting company website had a tab in their menu called Why Elephants? which I was intrigued enough to click on. I would dare to say it was life changing, as it led me to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and more important, unlocked and renewed my passion for and obsession with elephants.

“They have all the emotions of us humans – all the good traits and few of the bad. “
~Dame Daphne Sheldrick

I’ve done a fair amount of research on elephants, and also the people that advocate for them and help in some way whether it’s large or small. Once I started looking, I mean really looking, I also exposed myself to the horrors of poaching elephants for ivory in Africa and the abuse and unfair treatment of circus elephants. While I cannot personally and physically stop the abuses, I do have a voice. We all do.

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