Just like so many other wildlife species, elephants are under threat. Whether habitat loss, or poaching, these majestic creatures see their number decreasing from one year to another. But a hand of people are still going above and beyond to save elephants from extinction.
Projects like Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, give us hope that it is not over yet. For nearly half a century the devoted people here are saving and taking care of these magnificent creatures. With over 8,000 elephants treated and over 250 orphaned elephants raised, these real-life heroes deserve so much respect.
These people put a lot of heart, affection and devotion into their work. To better understand what they’re capable for the seek of the animals they’re fond of, you need to know they’re even sleeping with the orphan elephant, just to make them feel comfortable.
Even though people consider them beasts, life is as tough as it can gets for an orphan animals. Just like human babies, they also need someone to keep them warm, to feed them or to cuddle with them. Unfortunately, for these baby elephants, their moms are gone – because of ivory poaching – but they found so much love and affection at the people that rescued them – their caretakers.
Mostly men, these guys take care of the elephants, just like they are their own babies. But many of them are fathers, so they’re already familiar of how to deal with a baby’s crying.
“It feels the same to me as having my own babies in the same room,” one keeper, a father of two children explained for The Dodo. “It felt very similar as to when they were babies, waking up at all hours to feed and change them. They [baby elephants] also call out in the night, especially the very young ones. They are very restless as well, just like human babies, and wake up often. Sometimes they are crying for milk — you have to wake up for them just like a mother with a newborn baby.”
In order to grow up properly, the baby elephants need to be fed every three hours, including the night. But that doesn’t seem to bother their caretakers!
“It’s like their minds are set to wake up every three hours,” another keeper said. “Every three hours, you feel a trunk reach up and pull your blankets off!”
But these kind men are permanently staying next to these gentle innocent and delicate creatures, especially during night, when they also make sure they’re all covered in blankets.
“It makes the babies feel very secure,” a keeper explained. “You are like a mom to them and being there enables them to sleep very comfortably. When they sleep comfortably it allows them to grow healthily.”