My last stop was a very special orphanage for elephants. When I entered the David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary it felt like being in a dream. We walked into a big field and within minutes we were surrounded by groups of baby elephants. The baby elephants were orphaned due to poaching. Poachers seek elephant ivory from the animal’s tusks because it is a luxury item in Asia. Selling it, they make lot of money. Poaching is illegal but it still happens all the time. Places like the David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary are working hard to stop poachers and take care of the orphans.
I felt so blessed to spend time with these gentle giants. I met a baby elephant who was only two months old and had just arrived at the sanctuary. He touched my heart. He was shy, scared, and still traumatized from losing his mother. He was not ready to be playful with the other members of his adopted herd. He was so sweet, looking for a little love and one of my friends hug his trunk. It was an amazing gift to meet the baby elephants.
They explained to us that in some ways elephants are not that different from humans. When we are happy, cared for, and loved, we thrive and the same is true for elephants. I will never understand how someone could kill or harm an animal as beautiful and special as an elephant. We need to speak up for these animals or they will continue to be in danger. One of the best ways to help protect the elephants is to help educate people about their plight. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary is doing an amazing job educating local populations in the area about the elephants and the role they play in health and well-being of the ecosystem. It is very cool that they employ a lot of the local people at the sanctuary.
We protect what we care about, and we care about what we understand. Education on these issues is crucial. We must understand what’s at stake and that we need to take action now. A simple step is to never buy anything made with ivory. Another easy step is visiting the website of the orphanage (http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org) and learning more about the elephants and share what you learn.
Lots of love, G
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