Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, a Kenyan author, conservationist and elephant expert

by | Jan 26, 2011

Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, a Kenyan author, conservationist and expert on raising and reintegrating orphaned elephants into the wild, work she’s engaged in for some five decades.





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Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, a Kenya-based, internationally-renowned expert on rehabilitating and rearing wild animals, discusses how she grew over the years to specialize in reintegrating orphaned elephants in the wild, work she’s performed since the 50s, much of that time under the auspices of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, named for her late husband. Dr. Sheldrick explained the challenges of caring for these orphaned elements, including feedings every three hours and needing to teach them all sorts of behaviors their mothers otherwise would have–and, most notably, that many of these baby elephants arrive there so traumatized that they’ve lost their will to live.

Considered the first person to have perfected the milk formula for infant milk-dependent elephants, Dr. Sheldrick discussed the intricate procedure for creating the milk, and the trial-and-error experimentation over the years that led to the successful formula. She also noted the circumstances through which these elephants become orphaned–chiefly, ivory poaching, which Dr. Sheldrick feels has steadily escalated in recent years. She also outlined the around-the-clock duties of the keepers who look after the orphan elephants, and what she looks for in hiring keepers–and how the elephants are the final arbiters, deciding which keeper candidates will get hired. (www.SheldrickWildlifeTrust.org)

ALSO: We spoke briefly with Barbara LaPresti, who’s leading the effort proposing an anti-tethering ordinance in Hillsborough County that would limit the manner and length of time that dogs could be tied up outside.

COMEDY CORNER: Richard Jeni’s “Fred Robster” (www.RichJeni.com)

MUSIC:Adrian Belew’s “Elephants,” Syd Barrett’s “Effervescing Elephant,” Antibalas’ “Elephant,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:Clarence (Gatemouth) Brown’s version of “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens”

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