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Message from David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

November 29th, 2016

We are sincerely grateful for your generous donation as your support empowers us to make a difference for AfricanWildlife.

Hand-rearing orphans of such a long-living species as elephants and rhinos is a lengthy commitment; an elephant is a milk dependent infant for its first 3 years and will remain dependent on their keepers until at least 10 years of age. To date theDavidSheldrickWildlifeTrust (DSWT) has successfully raised over 200 orphaned elephants with as many as 30 in the nursery at any one time and a further 51 keeper dependent orphans at our Tsavo Reintegration Units in Voi, Ithumba and Umani, with the remaining individuals now living wild.

This year, Ex Orphan Icholta heralded a wonderful start to the year when she brought little Inca, her first wild born calf, to meet the Voi Keepers in February. Since then we have also seen Ex Orphan Lissa and her herd of offspring, including new baby Leo as well as her first grandchild, Leah born to her first born Lara. On the second of September the keepers at the Ithumba unit were overjoyed to wake to the sight of Ex Orphan Galana standing by the water trough with her first new born baby who we named Gawa, meaning ‘to share’ in Swahili. This makes now 21 wild born babies, that we know of, to our Ex Orphans and we look forward to following these precious new additions to our Ex Orphan families, as well as observe how our Ex Orphans cope with parenthood over the many years to come.

Our ten Anti-Poaching teams constantly patrol the vast Tsavo Conservation Area, and are proving to be a huge success. To date they have removed over 143,000 snares sparing literally hundreds of thousands of animals a cruel and agonizing death, and have made over 3,500 arrests, including more than 1,550 bush-meat and ivory/rhino horn poachers. In April this year we launched the DSWT Tsavo Canine Unit and already its success has exceeded expectations, complementing the work executed by the ground teams.

The DSWT now funds four Veterinary Units that are based in Tsavo, Amboseli, Meru and the Masai Mara with the Sky Vet Initiative ever ready to attend to animals in places inaccessible to the ground units. The Vet Units have attended to over 4,580 medical and non – medical cases as the teams treat injured animals, participate in relocations, collaring, research surveys and much more. Given that poaching has been a constant threat in the last couple of years, these Units have proved invaluable and have saved the lives of thousands of animals thanks to their rapid response to all reported cases.

The DSWT’s Anti-Poaching and Aerial Units continue to expand to meet the demands of operating within the Tsavo Conservation Area. An aerial presence has revolutionised the ability to conserve large tracts of land where surveillance and protection is needed the most.  Whether it is spotting illegal activities, veterinary cases or orphan rescues, an aerial presence highly compliments and reinforces the hard work of the teams on the ground.

Together both ground and aerial units actively safeguard the future of Tsavo's wild elephant populations, including DSWT’s orphans when grown, and countless other wild species. The ongoing practical assistance theTrust has been able to give the KenyaWildlife Service has been invaluable. Among many significant contributions, one has been the installation and maintenance of boreholes making water available in an arid and thirsty land, and relieving pressure on Tsavo East National Park's only two permanent rivers.  Another has been the installation and ongoing maintenance of electric fencing along sensitive Park boundaries both in Northern Tsavo East and also the Nairobi National Park. The DSWT takes pride in being sufficiently flexible to meet unforeseen contingencies as and when they occur, ever aware that we owe this to the support of our many donors worldwide who have empowered us to be so proactive.

TheTrust's Community input is equally as important, if not more so, for the future of Kenya's wild heritage lies in encouraging a more enlightened and caring younger generation. We endeavour to instil in young Kenyans the need for compassion and an appreciation of their richwildlife heritage encouraging an innate reverence for life and the marvels of the Natural World. Animal ethics and concern for the welfare of others that share our planet are the cornerstones on which to build a caring and honorable Nation who will be good custodians of their national heritage and more caring of one another, without viewing animals as a mere commodity that can be exploited inhumanely and cruelly for the benefit of humankind.

As well as our website, you can keep constantly up to date with our conservation work on Facebook Instagram and Twitter
Once again we thank you most sincerely for your help which, as always, is deeply appreciated.

Most Sincerely,

Dr. Dame DaphneSheldrick D.B.E.
Most Sincerely,

Dr. Dame DaphneSheldrick D.B.E.