Baby Elephant Orphanage

I have to say that this is probably one of the CUTEST things we've done in Kenya so far. :) The giraffe center was a ton of fun, too, but what can possibly be cuter than baby elephants drinking from giant bottles? So, you've been warned about the cuteness factor of this blog. If it doesn't inspire you to come visit us in Kenya, nothing will! Short of, maybe, the cuteness of our daughter.

Sunday morning we headed into Nairobi from Kijabe and went straight to the elephants. The David Sheldrick Conservation Center, located in Nairobi National Park, is only open to the public from 11-12 every day. We arrived early and got to pet the rock hyrax, the elephant's closest relative. Obviously.

We all lined up along a thin rope, by which giant bottles of milk (which supposedly were full of baby formula) were placed. And then, right at 11, the elephants came marching out to see us! They made a beeline for the milk.

Each elephant had their own bottle, which was empty within about 15 seconds.
Then they blew dust and water on themselves, and played around while the rangers told the story of how each elephant came to be at the orphanage. For the most part, poachers were involved, killing off the mommy elephants. :(

You can see how much the elephants love their "buddies".
This little guy was able to hold his own bottle.
And also at the orphanage, they sometimes rescue rhinos as well. This one is an adult male now, but arrived 5 years ago as a tiny (50 lb) baby. Because adult male rhinos are territorial, he considers the orphanage as part of his territory, even though he was released into the park several years ago (all the elephants go back into various game parks around the age of 2). So every few months he comes back to visit, and hangs out for a few days before moving on. It was fun to see him so up close and personal!
Finally, a view of the elephant's bedrooms!


Anonymous said...

this is soo cute....and sad!