Founded in 1977 the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust plays a significant and vital role in the conservation of Kenya's wildlife. It runs an orphanage at which baby elephants and rhino are reared by trained keepers when they have lost their mothers to poaching or illness. These orphans are rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
Real Africa has fostered a number of orphans over the years. Kithaka, an orphan selected by Sara our Marketing Director, when she visited the Trust in 2013 appealed largely because he was the naughtiest of the young elephants. Kithaka is doing really well - we have watched him grow over the past 3+ years into a fine young bull elephant, following his progress (and antics) from the Nairobi Nursery to Tsavo - some of which you can read about below:
Arruba, a calf we fostered in 2014 has also done well and was moved in December 2015 to join Kithaka in Tsavo. You can read more about Arruba here.
Alamaya was rescued from the Masai Mara in 2015 having been separated from his herd and then attacked and injured by hyenas. We read about Alamaya's rescue and we were compelled to foster him too! He seemed so brave in the face of such terrible trauma. Sara heard that Alamaya was due to move from the nursery to Tsavo in May 2016 and was delighted to be able to come face to face with this brave little elephant at the nursery just before he left during her last visit to Kenya.
As well as sponsoring the orphans, Real Africa also encourages its clients to visit the orphanage, on the edge of Nairobi National Park, at the end of their safaris so they can witness first-hand the wonderful work of the Trust, and perhaps foster an elephant themselves.
With all three of the above now happily at Tsavo we have decided to foster another three - Jotto, Esampu and Ambo. You can read the news post here.
Titchy Tembo - new Tshirts coming soon to the Real World Store
Our new Tshirt design for the Real World Store has been inspired by our visits to the Sheldrick Trust and our involvement with the charity. Tembo is the Swahili word for elephant. When the mothers are poached for their ivory they leave behind a vulnerable orphan - a titchy tembo. All the profits from our Tshirts go to our nominated charities and we hope the money we raise through selling these Tshirts far and wide will help Africa's elephants get through this dark time and help secure their future.
A personal view
Robert Ferguson, one of our Directors, enjoyed time at the nursery in Nairobi recently. He was allowed to spenf time with the orphaned elephants as they grazed in Nairobi National Park.
"Seeing how small the youngest elephants are brought home how vulnerable these creatures are without the protection of their mothers and family. As they played in the bush, chasing and wrestling with each other, it seemed incredible that people would harm them simply to get the ivory. Trying to help stop this happening is something we feel obliged and proud to do, and we look with admiration at the work that the Sheldrick Trust does.
At least these young elephants will get the opportunity to return to the wild and hopefully live long and happy lives with their adopted families. Walking with them was one of the most moving experiences I've ever had the pleasure to experience."
For full details of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, please Click Here.