Christmas Giving: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – The Orphan Project

Ashaka - a precious little girlOrphaned baby elephants are often the tragic by-product of the current elephant (and many other kinds of wildlife) poaching crisis taking place in Africa today or victims of human/wildlife conflict.The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust based in Kenya has for the last 40 years rescued these babies and through love and dedication figured out how to raise them so they can be re-released into the wild to live the lives they are meant to live. Without their knowledge and expertise these orphans have no chance at life.

For a minimum of $50 you can foster an orphan for yourself or as a gift for someone else. This year we fostered many orphans as gifts to friends and family and have been recipients as well. Supporting the organization is one thing but spreading the word and telling the stories about these animals lives, their incredible emotional sophistication is essential to their survival as a species. They are like us but elephants.

The DSWT makes it easy to tell their stories because they share them via email and on social media ( please ‘like’ them on facebook). Every month I get an update on what is happening at the nursery and throughout the organization (vet services, anti-poaching) and this month I received an additional update on my new baby Ashaka. I am telling you this story so you can share it with others. If we keep sharing then the world will know what is happening to these incredible animals and perhaps together we can save them and others. You can go to the mall and buy a gift or you can make a difference.

Please be sure to read the story of Ashaka’s friendship:

Ashaka and Kamok are two little girls who have grown up in the Nursery together throughout this year and have formed a very special bond in that time.    Ashaka came while teething, which is never easy, but thankfully we got through that precarious period and she is now growing up, but not as fast as some.  Although older than Kauro she has definitely been overtaken in height.  She likes to be with the young orphans rather than the bigger ones as she is shy little girl in their company and prefers the company of the Keepers and the babies.   She is always glued to the sides of her friends Kamok, and Mbegu, along with Kauro.  She is selective with her Keepers too, preferring some more than others.  She prefers company all of the time, so is a demanding little elephant, and if her Keeper leaves her stable at night, even for a short moment, she complains instantly.  Ashaka has a naughty streak which is prompted by jealously mostly, and can be found bullying some of the other orphans – she does not like to share her Keepers.

Thank you so much for supporting our little Ashaka who was fortunate to be rescued from the mud and saved long after her herd had gone.  Raising Ashaka from infancy to this point, a year on, has been a very satisfying journey made possible thanks to the support of her foster parents.

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