The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (also commonly referred to as the Elephant Orphanage) is located on a plot inside Nairobi National Park.The park located within 7 km from the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi is the only park within a city in the world. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (Elephant Orphanage) is a non-profit organization established in 1977 in honor of the late David Sheldrick – the founder warden of Tsavo National park.
David and his Kenya born wife Daphne pioneered techniques of raising orphaned animals and re-introducing them back to the wild. Sheldrick animal orphanage is the first to successfully hand-rear infant elephants and return them to the elephant community in the National Parks when grown. For 28 years, Daphne Sheldrick struggled to perfect the complex animal husbandry and milk formula for the infant elephants.
Orphaned by poachers and natural causes, infant elephants face certain death and can only survive the trauma if adopted and nurtured until they can be independent. The orphaned animals at Sheldrick animal orphanage are give 24 hours care by their keepers who became their replacement family. Sheldrick Wildlife Trust works in close ties with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in various projects.
The trust has a mobile veterinary unit that serves Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. The unit also covers Amboseli National Park , Shimba hill National Park and Chyulu Hills . The trust also operates de-snaring teams in the expansive Tsavo National Park. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has also been involved in massive re-location of elephants between major National Parks. Sheldrick Animal orphanage is located just a few minutes from Nairobi and it’s a heartwarming experience that should not be missed. It is open for visitors strictly between 11 am and noon when the orphans are enjoying their habitual mad bath.
All the elephant orphans raised by the Trust square measure step by step restored back to the wild elephant community of Tsavo parkland once they grow up. A transition that is made at their own pace and in their own time, but usually taking approximately eight to ten years. A number of our ex Nursery orphans have now had wild born young which they have brought back to show their erstwhile human family, and others are now pregnant and living free, yet keeping in touch with those who are still Keeper dependent. Amongst these square measure several parent-less too young to own any recollection of their elephant mother or family.