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September 2017: The Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya have been caring for orphaned elephants and rhinos since 1977. Every morning they open their centre on the outskirts of Nairobi and allow the public to visit them, meeting some of the elephants currently in their care and watching them at close quarters. I arrived as the elephants returned from a morning on the plains to enjoy a bottle of milk:

The elephants arrive at the Sheldrick Centre Nairobi

The elephants arrive at the Sheldrick Centre Nairobi

The elephants arrive at the Sheldrick Centre Nairobi

The elephants arrive at the Sheldrick Centre Nairobi

The elephants need feeding every three hours, and with 26 orphans currently in their care that's a lot of milk - a wheelbarrow load every time!

Elephant drinking a bottle of milk

Elephant drinking a bottle of milk

As you can see, access to the elephants is great, giving everybody the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures at close range.

The Sheldrick elephants

The Sheldrick elephants

After their milk, it's time for a romp in the mud!

The Sheldrick elephants enjoy a mud bath

The Sheldrick elephants enjoy a mud bath

After about 30 minutes, the elephants and their keepers return to Nairobi National Park.

The elephants leave

The Sheldrick elephants black and white montage

If you wish to help these elephants, a fostering programme is available from just $50 USD per year. More information about this worthwhile project can be found here.

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