Conservation in practice in Africa…where to go to meet the experts
If you fancy doing more than observing animals, and wish to find out more about the blood, sweat and tears involved in protecting African Wildlife, then we can recommend the following…
- We have adopted orphan elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. As foster parents you are allowed to visit at a stated time and day (if arranged in advance) outside public hours and interact with the elephants as they return to their pens in the evening. The keepers assigned to the elephants devote their lives to them – sleeping with them in the evening in their pens, feeding them, acting as replacement mothers. They are humble people who devote their lives to rehabilitating elephants who have broken hearts from seeing their mothers killed by poachers before their very eyes. As a visitor you get the chance to find out more about their efforts, and meet and help comfort the elephants. I spent an good 30 minutes with a young male called Pesi who wrapped his trunk around my finger like a child would grab your finger. And he did not let go. I could not stop crying, thinking how could anyone hurt such an incredible and vulnerable animal. Pesi since died of a broken heart – he’d experienced too much trauma and despite the best efforts of the keepers he died less than 12 months after our visit.
DSWT is an incredible organisation and I urge everyone to do their bit to support it. You can follow them on facebook and visit their website at http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/
I have also produced a photobook about DSWT and the elephants and 100% of all profits from the sale of the book are personally donated to DSWT. It’s called ‘Vulnerable Giants’ and is available to view online. Further informatoin is also available in my previous Tarajiblue blog post about DSWT entitled “Too many orphans”.
- The Giraffe Centre in Nairobi. Established to save the endangered Rothschild giraffe. It’s a lovely place where you can get up close and personal with the giraffes, feed them, walk with them and learn a lot about their plight.
- The Hoedsprit Endangered Species Centre in South Africa