When Julius starts his day, his first thought is to check on the baby elephants in his care. At Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, it’s a sad and sobering reality that the orphaned baby elephants that arrive are in a terrible way.
Often their parents have been kill.ed by poachers, and the young elephants would otherwise have to fend for themselves.
The keepers, in a way, replace the families that the orphans have sadly lost. This requires round-the-clock care, every day of the year. Julius and his colleagues have to hand feed the elephants bottled formula, to give them any chance of surviving.
But the goal here is not to keep the elephants in captivity.
Far from it, actually. Julius hopes that every orphaned elephant that comes into his care will eventually be released into the wild. And part of their rehabilitation is to be led out of the stables everyday into the surrounding forest, where they are able to develop their natural instincts.
Julius tells us a little bit more about his special work:
“I am very proud to be an elephant keeper. To be among the few people in the world, to be able to help retain and increase the population of elephants in the wild.”
There’s little doubting that the incredible contribution made by people like Julius makes up for the call.ous and bar.baric acts of the poachers that make these wonderful animals orphans in the first place.
We can only hope that the efforts of Julius and his colleagues will be widely recognized and appreciated, and that their life-saving efforts will help to sustain the wild elephant population in East Africa for years to come.
For more information about the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, visit their website.
You can follow along with their work on Facebook: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
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