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The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

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The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Anne-Marie1981 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:59 pm

Our day at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

We arrived for the public visiting hour a little early, at 10:30, as we had supplies of SMA Gold (12 tins) green clay (which they use on the babies wounds) and tights galore (they use these to tie the babies blankets on). After many many walkie talkie conversations we were eventually let in to the orphanage where we were met by Lana (one of the ladies that works there) and Edwin (who I’m sure needs no introductions). We unloaded all the bags and Edwin allowed us to stay in until visiting hour started, he walked us down to where Rombo was in his taming stockade (he had only been rescued a few days previously) and Maxwell in his huge enclosure. Just before everyone else was let in Edwin came to get us and took us down to the viewing area so we could choose where we wanted to stand. We got out spot and then waited for the babies to arrive.

It was fantastic watching the little eles running down for their milk. First came Naipoki, Sities, Tano and Shukuru. While these babies were being fed, a keeper was talking telling everyone about the trust and the work they do, and the background on the babies. After the milk is finished, a lot of play commences, lots of fun to be had at the mudbath. The time went quickly and the 4 babies were led away and the next 7 came down. Mutara, Makireti, Ishanga, Dabassa, Kilbasi, Turkwell and Kainuk. Kainuk should be with the smaller group but, at that point, they hadn’t been able to separate her from Turkwell. The same pattern followed with this group, milk and then playtime. Again, over all to quickly but it was good to know that we would be back in a couple of hours for our private visit.

The private visit (which you make a donation) had changed since we visited. We were able to feed the babies, which you can’t anymore ... apparently due to a lot of people expecting to be able to feed them during the public visiting hour. When we arrived Edwin took us down to the viewing area where the milk bottles were set out ready, again the four came down first, I fed Sities her two bottles, she was so strong and drank so quickly I barely had time to register what was happening, Chris fed Shukuru. Next came the bigger group. I fed Mutara, she’s one of the oldest there and very strong. We then got to spend time playing and interacting with the babies which was just amazing. Being able to stroke with them, walk with them, get sprayed with mud by them was a truly wonderful experience. I spent a lot of time with Tano and Kainuk. Kainuk is a very sweet baby and is losing the sight in one of her eyes Sad.

All too quickly our visit was over and we went to meet Maxwell and Rombo again. Rombo is an amazing little baby. He was rescued and taken to Nairobi on 28th August after his mother was killed. He was also attacked and had a spear wound on his neck. Rombo gave Chris and I his trunk in turn to blow into ... a wonderful moment. We went off to see Maxwell, who’s enclosure is right next to Rombo’s. We were both able to stroke him.

Before we were due to leave our driver had a chat with Edwin, explaining we were due back later for a foster parent visit and he allowed us to stay in the orphanage as long as we stayed in the area where Rombo and Maxwell were housed. I was absolutely over the moon at this and we promptly went back to Rombo. Rombo rested his trunk on Chris’s head and kept holding his hand, Chris went back to Maxwell leaving me with Rombo. He wrapped his trunk round my hand and kept squeezing it, he then lifted his trunk right up so I could stroke underneath and then he suckled my fingers Very Happy I crouched down to him and he lent his head against the bars of his stockade, leaning his body against the side and he gave me his trunk to hold, I looked into his eyes, he looked so sad, like he was trying to tell me what happened to him and his mum. So sad, but a moment I will treasure forever.

I then stood back and watched him have his milk, he still wasn’t very good with his bottle seeming to spill more than he drank, when he had finished I went back over to him and got a very milky trunk in my hand and then on my lips. What a truly precious little elephant.
It was all very busy when all the other foster parents arrived. We watched the babies go to bed and have their feed. Chris spent time talking to each keeper while I went round looking at each baby and getting photos. Naipoki was a darling, she pulled my hand to her mouth so she could suckle on my fingers. Wonderful. We went back to see her a bit later when it was quieter, she suckled my fingers again, then Chris, then mine again.

All in all it was a truly wonderful experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
(and in case you weren’t sure Rombo was my favourite)



Me and Rombo






Me feeding Mutara with little Naipoki trying to get in!




Naipoki suckling my fingers


Hope I didn't get too carried away, I just loved it so much!!
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Anne-Marie1981

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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Laikipia on Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:04 am

WOW what an amazing time you both had Anne-Marie, and no you didnt get too carried away, it really is such a great place to visit, and we were both so lucky that we were able to feed the eles - a real shame that has now changed but I can understand why!

Well done for taking all those goodies with you, we only managed the milk but next time will take more.

How fantastic that you could stay for longer, the time passes so quickly and it really is such a special experience. Edwin is brilliant as are all the keepers and DSWT really are one marvellous organisation, well worth supporting.

Did you sponsor any more eles? We have 3 eles and 1 rhino, Solio, but am tempted to add another little orphan to our happy family I love you

Thanks for telling us about your day, it really sounded magical and a special day to remember forever.

Lai Pai
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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Anne-Marie1981 on Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:23 am

It really was the best experience, and I'm so glad I sat down that evening and wrote it all down, I had forgotten so much! We have lots of video clips too which we haven't watched back yet. So looking forward to seeing them. Funnily enough I dreamt about the ele's last night ... must have been because I wrote this up.

We didn't foster anymore while we were there which I am still annoyed about ... when we went back for our private visit I didn't take enough money with me (thinking we would be going back to Ngong House before going again). I am going to foster Rombo though and I think little Sasab or Kithaka.
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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Laikipia on Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:51 am

I need to look through the list of the latest arrivals and add another little ele, two of ours are no longer in Nairobi, one we fostered as a present for a friend is there and Solio is still there, so it would be nice to have a new addition that we could see next time we are there Any excuse to foster more .......

video clips - sound wonderful, can you post some pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease lol!

Lai Pai
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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Anne-Marie1981 on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:07 am

I haven't got them, Chris's brother is meant to be copying them on to disc for us as they will only play on Windows 7, which we don't have! As soon as I get them I will upload Very Happy

And yes, the more the merrier Very Happy We have Shimba at Voi, Chaimu at Ithumba, Sities at the nursery and Maxwell at the nursery. Mum had Dida at Voi and Naipoki at the nursery Very Happy
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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Laikipia on Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:53 pm

fantastic number of eles Anne-Marie. Look forward to the videos when you can.

Love your new avatar Very Happy

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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Anne-Marie1981 on Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:55 pm

Thank you LP!

I've just added to my fosterings Very Happy Rombo and little Kithaka Very Happy a little christmas present from me to me!! Very Happy
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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Laikipia on Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:58 pm

lol! what a fantastic idea and just the best present from you to you

I'll be doing something similar tomorrow - will let you know who ...........

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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Doogs on Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:58 pm

What a lovely, detailed, moving account of your time at DSW Anne-Marie, I really enjoyed reading that. Rombo sounds an absolute darling and I think it was only a matter of time before he was added to your list of 'fosters'. You actually made me cry reading about him.

Love the photos, it was certainly a day you will never forget and great that Chris obviously enjoyed it as well.
to you both for bringing all the supplies that you did, I'm sure they were very much appreciated by the staff Cool
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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Anne-Marie1981 on Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:33 am

I'm glad you enjoyed reading about it Doogs, and sorry for making you cry reading about Rombo, it may sound crazy, but we both felt like we really connected with him!! And to read now, that he is fearful and wary of humans makes me feel really privileged that he was comfortable enough with us to give us his trunk only a few days after his rescue.
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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Doogs on Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:36 pm

Don't worry AM, I was crying 'cause I thought it was really sweet I love you

I think you need to go back out there to comfort and reassure him, he so obviously liked you and Chris Hugs
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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Anne-Marie1981 on Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:26 pm

Aww, thanks Doogs! It was lovely. Would love to see Rombo again, I think he is being moved to Ithumba soon as may have to research that one Very Happy
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Re: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Post  Dnyanada Kulkarni on Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:06 pm

WOW!!! Very Happy You certainly did have a fantastic time!! You have described it so well that I almost felt like I was enjoying the visit with you. Thanks for sharing!
The photos are adorable. These eles are so precious that it is indeed a privilege to be chosen as someone who they want close by. I can imagine what you must have felt that time and later when you heard that he was afraid of excessive human contact. These little ones really touch our hearts in more than one way. :)

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