home / diary / Kenya / 07 October 2005
Elephant & Rhino Orphanage
Debbie writes... Excitedly we arrived at the David Sheldrick Elephant & Rhino Orphanage at 09.45. The gates only opened at 11am, but we wanted to make sure that we got a good position. From 11am to 12pm the public are invited to experience the feeding of the orphaned baby rhino and elephants. Each tells a sad tale, but it is wonderful to know that there is such an organisation who care so deeply for these orphaned animals.

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The two-year old black rhino was orphaned when her mother died after birth - she was too old.  Junior is the only baby rhino currently at the orphanage. Quite comfortable with her keepers, she would revel in the mud, play with her tyre and enjoy being soaked with cool water.

Two-year old orphaned black rhino

Play time

Revelling in the mud

Three milk bottles standing in a line...

After seeing the rhino, the baby elephants then come marching (or rather storming) in. They know it is feeding time and their 3 litres of milk (each) is awaiting them. Amidst trumpeting squeals, they gulp down their milk within seconds. Amazingly, these baby elephants are incredibly attached to their keepers. It is very important that the orphaned elephants have a 'family environment' around them, so the keepers even sleep with the elephants at night and fuss over them all the time. The centre makes sure to rotate the keepers so that the elephants don't become too attached to any particular keeper. It is common that elephants pine for their keepers if they go away, which can lead to depression and the baby dying.

I'm only 9 weeks old


Cooling in the mud





Second course


Junior wants to play ball

We're having such fun!

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