When you reach your eighties, you hope that you’ll be in retirement. But not Dame Daphne Sheldrick. This amazing woman is still helping animals and inspiring people worldwide. At 82 years old, Dame Daphne Sheldrick oversees the daily chores and adventures of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphan Project (DSWT), an elephant rehabilitation center in Kenya. Though her formal education did not continue beyond graduation from high school in Kenya, she is a verifiable expert on African wildlife and a pioneer in the field of animal orphan rescue-and-release.
Her husband, the late David Sheldrick was also a leader in the field, but Daphne Sheldrick created a legacy all her own. The most successful center of its kind in the world, the Orphan Project works with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and anti-poaching guards to save the lives of baby elephants.
Before Sheldrick, it was nearly impossible to rehabilitate an orphaned elephant; the milk that baby elephants get from their mothers is, as all milk is, highly specific to their species, and was difficult to replicate. She found the first formula that helped little elephants thrive without their mothers. So it comes as no surprise that she was granted Damehood, the female version of Knighthood in the British Empire.
Sheldrick has helped rescue and rehabilitate hundreds of elephants, many of whom were able to return to the wild. And now, we have yet another story to share of Sheldrick’s magic.
Humpty the hippo was less than a month old when she became trapped in a fast drying mud pool. She was rescued by the DSWT team with the help of a KWS Vet in December 2016 and flown by helicopter and plane to the Kaluku Field HQ where she is receiving the specialist support she needs to survive.
Here is a stunning photo of Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick with Humpty. This breathtaking photo serves as a reminder that we must protect wildlife.
With Humpty drinking more than eight liters of formula a day, caring for a fast growing hippo is not cheap. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has also built a custom made pool for Humpty to wallow in, as well as made her her own bedroom. Humpty also requires around the clock care and protection to make sure she grows up happy and healthy, with the goal to transition her back to the wild one day.
If you would like to make a donation to Humpty’s care and to all of the orphans in David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s care, click here. Every little bit helps!
Visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust website for more information, and to learn how to foster a baby elephant.
Image Source: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Facebook