Mbegu was rescued by DSWT at just two months of age on May 15, 2014. She was the victim of community violence after a member of her herd killed a woman and was shot by the Kenya Wildlife Service. The herd then fled, abandoning the baby elephant to experience significant trauma at the hands of the angry community members. Before she was rescued, Mbegu was speared several times and stoned by school children.
When she arrived at DSWT headquarters, one of the keepers noted that she must have come from a “tiny seed” because she was the smallest of the nursery herd. (Mbegu means “seed” in Swahili.)
According to her keeper’s diary, “Mbegu is a perfect little treasure, incredibly playful and full [of] nonsense, and given her tender age has bounced back from her emotional scarring very quickly and is now totally at home in her new environment…”
Enjoy some photos of adorable Mbegu and the rest of her pint-sized elephant posse in Kenya:
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya works for the “conservation, preservation, and protection of wildlife.” Its interests include anti-poaching, protecting the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, and more, including rescuing and hand-rearing orphaned African animals, particularly elephants and rhinos. They also recently added a giraffe to their motley crew.
“To date the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has accomplished its long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo, claiming many healthy wild-born calves from former-orphaned elephants raised in our care.”
To learn more about DSWT’s orphan-raising program or sponsoring an elephant, please check out their website or visit their Facebook page. Sponsors receive a fostering certificate and regular updates about their elephant by email.
If you’re interested in other ways to get involved with elephant conservation, check out my post for World Elephant Day.
As you can see, elephant conservation is a big deal to me. What global issue is a big deal to you?