“Love, Life, and Elephants,â€ A New Book by Dame Daphne Sheldrick
On my last trip to Nairobi, I had the pleasure of meeting Dame Daphne Sheldrick at the elephant orphanage she founded in 1977. I remember the mix of joy and sadness I felt upon entering the orphanage. Joy at seeing those miniature-sized elephants frolicking in the mud. Sadness at learning that their parents were brutally murdered by poachers who left these babies to wander in the bush.
“We came to learn how intelligent these elephants are, with a familial instinct and an astounding memory,” Sheldrick told me as we sat at an outdoor table in the back patio of her house. Then her expression suddenly turned grave as she noted, “the elephant community is in a lot of trouble. Not only is poaching on the rise, but the intrusion of livestock into protected areas has led to a scarcity of water.”
If last week’s New York Times article on the surge of African ivory being transported to Asia is any indication, the only elephants we might be seeing in the future will be orphans. You can read about Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s fascinating life in her just released memoir, “Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story.”