Like many other wildlife species, elephants are threatened. Whether in habitat loss or hunting, these majestic creatures see their numbers dwindle year after year. But a human hand is still on the rise to save the elephants from extinction.
Projects like the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya give us hope that it is not over yet. The people who have been dedicated here for nearly half a century have been caring for and preserving these amazing creatures. These real-life heroes deserve so much respect for having treated more than 8,000 elephants and raised more than 250 orphaned elephants.
These people are so much passionate about their work. They even sleep with an orphaned elephant, to make them feel comfortable.
Like human babies, they need someone to warm them up, feed them, or pet them. Unfortunately, for these baby elephants, their mothers are lost – because of ivory hunting – but the people they rescued – found so much love and affection for their guardians.
Mostly male, these people take care of the elephants like their own cubs. But many of them are fathers, so they are already familiar with 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.”
To grow properly, baby elephants need to be fed every three hours, including at night. But that doesn’t seem to bother their guardians!
“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 people stay firmly near these soft innocent and delicate creatures, especially at night, when they are assured that they are all covered with 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.”