I am always amazed by how very tiny elephants are when they are born. They walk among their giant herd, weaving in and out of tree trunk sized legs, and somehow are never ever stomped on by mistake.
In November I blogged about Mulika, a former orphan who had been reintroduced back to the wild, who brought her wild born calf Mwende back to the orphanage to meet those who reared her. This week another former orphan, Yatta, brought her newborn, Yetu, to the Ithumba Camp. It turns out Yetu and Mwende are half sisters sharing the same wild father. To read their story and see some incredible photos of this new small creature click here. Next month, after a day in Nairobi visiting the nursery, Cam and Chris and I are driving deep into to the Tsavo wilderness to stay at the Sheldrick Ithumba Camp before continuing our safari in Tanzania. Along with our guide we will be the only guests at the camp, where we will be immersed in the daily lives of the elephants, and hopefully meet these two new additions. Below is Sheldrick's description of the Ithumba Camp and the adventure that awaits us.
The Ithumba Camp was built as a self help camp, in an effort to open the Northern Area of Tsavo East to the discerning traveller. This area is remote, wild and untouched, and is not for everybody, but for those that seek solace in Nature and Wilderness; this is Kenya’s largest untouched wild expanse, where a visitor can spend time undisturbed in a pristine area.
In Defense Of Animals Releases 2011 "Ten Worst Zoos For Elephants" List.
San Rafael, Calif. (January 16, 2012) - The 2011 list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants, released today by In Defense of Animals (IDA), once again exposes the hidden suffering of elephants in zoos, where lack of space, unsuitably cold climates and unnatural conditions condemn Earth’s largest land mammals to lifetimes of deprivation, disease and early death. The list is in its eighth year.
This past Friday, January 13th, Giselle Bundchen visited the David Sheldrick Wild Trust's Nairobi nursery. Here is a nice photo of her being upstaged by our little Kithaka. Hopefully high profile visitors like Giselle will help draw much needed attention. And here is the newest picture of Kithaka chewing on the end of someone's umbrella.
On December 28th my foster, Rombo, was moved from the baby nursery in Nairobi to the Voi unit in Tsavo. The best part of this video is near the end when the Voi orphans eagerly greet the new arrivals. To read the story of this journey click here. It is hard to believe that next month I will be in the presence of these incredible creatures.
Yesterday was vaccination day for my trip to Kenya and Tanzania next month. I had to get shots for yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A and B, and polio (the last one I probably did not need, but better safe than sorry). Truthfully, removing those heavy duty bandaids hurt a lot more than the injections. I also got a prescription for big pink pills that prevent malaria and a powerful antibiotic to take along for the ride.
One of the elephant orphans at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust happily taking a mud bath. I cannot wait to see this in person next month when I visit the orphanage with my friends Camilla and Chris during our Kenyan and Tanzanian safari.