The baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust get their bottles, Nairobi, Kenya, March 1st 2014
On March 1st I visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. This organisation takes in orphaned baby elephants. The babies lost their mothers, mostly due to poaching, and were sent to the Trust from all over Kenya. There, they are lovingly hand-raised for three years, after which they are put into a 5-year program to reintroduce them back into the wild.
It was one of the best experiences I have had the privilege to have in my life. What these people do is amazing. Their lives are dedicated entirely to the well-being of these beautiful babies, they even sleep alongside them in their stables.
Visitors are allowed near the elephants only one hour a day. You are lead to a patch of land, circled with nothing but a thin rope. At 11 am, there they are! They come galloping in, because the babies know they’re getting their bottle. They beeline for their keeper and slobber down two bottles of milk like it’s no big deal (the older ones are big enough to hold their own bottle, thankyouverymuch). After that it’s playtime - the area has a mudpool, and lots of delightful dirt and twigs to play with.
They are babies, so they are mischievous. They come up to you for attention! I cuddled them and scritched their trunks and their ears, got splashed with water and was absolutely black with dirt afterwards.
more informaton on the trust and how to donate can be found on their website. If you can spare it, consider donating something or even adopting one of the babies!
A Leopard tortoise crawls across a lodge in Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania, February 27th 2014
Too cool. We were staying in a really nice lodge in the really nice town of Mto Wa Mbu, and when I was walking back to our room by myself I found this little feller in front of our door. As you do, when in Tanzania. At first he kind of hid from me, retreating into his shell, but once he figured out I was just there to be friendly he came back out and continued on his journey. SO CUTE.
Lions make little baby lions in the Ngorongoro crater, February 26th 2014
So that happened right in front of us. I’m pretty sure this is the sort of thing nature documentary makers deeply hope to get on camera, and this dweeby tourist just kind of stumbles upon it. There was a lot of giggling.