It’s World Elephant Day! This day was co-founded by Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand in 2012, and since then, it has partnered with 100 elephant conservation organizations worldwide, as well as numerous animal advocate individuals around the world.
The purpose of this special day is to build global awareness for the plight of elephants, as organizations and individuals rally together to provide a voice for our threatened elephants. This incredible day of unity is powerful as it citizens, politicians, policy-makers, and governments are given the opportunity to assist in the creation of solutions that will protect our elephants from poachers, as everyone works together to elevate the population and each other’s spirits.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has devoted their life to elephant rescue and conservation. They have also created an entire page on their website as a tribute to World Elephant Day.
Founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E., in honor of the memory of her late husband, famous naturalist and founding warden of Tsavo East National Park, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the DSWT claims a rich and deeply rooted family history in wildlife and conservation.
The mission of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is to embrace all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe-guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, and rescuing and hand-rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in the wild when grown.
At the heart of the DSWT’s conservation activities is the Orphans’ Project, which has achieved world-wide acclaim through its hugely successful elephant and rhino rescue and rehabilitation program. The Orphans’ Project exists to offer hope for the future of Kenya’s threatened elephant and rhino populations as they struggle against the threat of poaching for their ivory and horn, and the loss of habitat due to human population pressures and conflict, deforestation and drought.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has accomplished its long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo, claiming many healthy wild-born calves from former-orphaned elephants raised in our care.
The DSWT has remained true to its principles and ideals, remaining a sustainable and flexible organization. Guided by experienced and dedicated trustees and assisted by an Advisory Committee of proactive naturalists with a lifetime of wildlife and environmental experience, the Trust takes effective action and achieves long-lasting results.
Chaired by Daphne Sheldrick, the DSWT is run by Angela Sheldrick, the daughter of David and Daphne, who has been managing all of the Trust’s activities for over a decade. Growing up in Tsavo and later in the Nairobi National Park, Angela has been part of the Trust’s vision from the start, supported by her husband Robert Carr-Hartley and their two boys Taru and Roan, who are passionate about Kenya’s wildlife and eager to ensure that David and Daphne’s legacy continues.
“World Elephant Day is a rallying call for people to support organizations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products, protect wild elephant habitat, and provide sanctuaries and alternative habitats for domestic elephants to live freely.”
– Patricia Sims, World Elephant Day Co-Founder
Source: World Elephant Day
Photos: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust