The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphan Project (DSWT) is an elephant rehabilitation center in Nairobi, Kenya that has been a pioneer in wildlife conservation dating back all the way to 1977. Specializing in hand-rearing milk-dependent orphaned rhinos and elephants, DSWT credits much of their success over the past three decades to the incredible Dame Daphne Sheldrick. 

One of DSWT’s current orphaned baby elephants, Malkia has stolen our hearts. Malkia’s mother was known as the “queen of the plains” and she sadly fell ill in September of 2016. DSWT sadly euthanized her to at least save her the indignation of being torn apart by predators, poor Malkia refused to leave her dying mother’s side. While they couldn’t save her mother, DSWT could provide a loving home for this sweet little one.

Meet Malkia! At just one-years-old, this sweet gal is already a matriarch in the making. 

Malkia, meaning “queen” in Swahili, loves to welcome new arrivals. Malkia wraps her trunk around other orphaned baby elephants to say hello and comfort them! 

DSWT says that Malkia loves to dote on the younger babies. How sweet is she? We can’t handle all of this cuteness!

DSWT thinks Malkia could be the future leader of their nursery herd. With her compassionate nature already evident, that wouldn’t surprise us. 

Keep being adorable, Malika! 


To learn more about The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the amazing animals who call the sanctuary home, visit their official website.

All image source: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Facebook