Heart-Breaking News! Dame Daphne Sheldrick Passed Away Last Night; But Her Legacy Will Live On Forever!

It is with extremely heavy hearts that WAN shares the news that Dame Daphne Sheldrick, the remarkable woman who founded The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), has passed away.

As per her daughter Angela, Daphne, dedicated more than 60 years of her life to the protection of Africa’s wildlife and some of the world’s most iconic and threatened animals, passed away last night after a long battle with breast cancer.

“It is all very raw but I must share with you the passing of my incredible mother Daphne Sheldrick.  What an example she was to us all, and I feel blessed to have been able to call her my Mum because she was quite simply ‘one of a kind’. She was a national treasure and a conservation icon,” Angela said in a statement on the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust website. “Her legacy is immeasurable and her passing will reverberate far and wide because the difference she has made for conservation in Kenya is unparalleled.”

Born in Kenya in 1934, “Daphne spent close to 30 years of her life working alongside her husband David, the founder warden of Kenya’s largest National Park, Tsavo East, as they forged this unforgiving wild land into a protected space for Kenya’s largest elephant population and all manner of wild species.”

Daphne became a leading voice for elephants, and other wild animals, that she believed “have the right to live a free and protected life, just like us.”

Daphne leaves two daughters, four grandchildren, a family of now wild-living orphaned elephants and a lasting legacy for wildlife conservation.

Angela’s beautiful heartfelt memorial to her mother revealed that Daphne “died knowing that she will continue to make a difference each and every day upon a land that she held so dear to her heart through the work of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, thanks to a dedicated team she leaves behind.”

“Daphne was fortunate to live long enough to preside over mud baths at Ithumba with well over 100 orphans, ex-orphans and wild friends frolicking, and be able to say to herself, ‘but for I’. What a gift she leaves us all with, as she really is a shining example of the finest of humanity.”


People can make donations to commemorate Daphne’s life and help The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust continue to protect the wild lives Daphne loved so much, HERE!

If you live in the United States,  donations in memory of Daphne can also be made through the U.S. Friends of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, now known As The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust USA, HERE! 

R.I.P. Dame Daphne Sheldrick; Your profound spirit and legacy will live on forever in our hearts!

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