These Men Spend Their Nights Sleeping With Orphaned Elephants

The herds of elephants are in danger, but heroes are working to save them. 24-hour care is available for the animals. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) raises orphaned young elephants in Kenya so that they can grow into robust, healthy adults.

A Night With Elephant Babies

Elephants separated from their mothers and fathers by poachers and habitat destruction. Fortunately, their caregivers treat them as if they were their mothers. Throughout the night, they tuck the babies in and sleep close by to feed the elephants.

A keeper whose own children are a toddler and a teenager said, “It’s like having my own babies in the same room.”. I felt like I was feeding and changing them all night long when they were newborns.”

He’s not the only one who sees similarities between caring for elephants and parenting. The majority of his fellow keepers are also parents. “The elephant kids, especially the really young ones, shout out in the night,” remarked another keeper.

 David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) keepers taking care of baby elephants

“Like human infants, the young ones are quite restless and wake up frequently. They scream for milk at times, and you have to get up for them, exactly like a mother with a newborn baby.”

Infant elephants are wrapped in blankets when it’s cold outside to keep warm. The newborns pull at their guardians’ covers when they need milk. The other stated, “Every three hours, you feel a trunk reach up and pull your covers off.””

When it’s cold outside, the caregivers wrap the newborn elephants in blankets to keep them warm. When the newborns need milk, they reach up with their trunks and tug at the covers of their guardians. One stated, “Every three hours, you feel a trunk reach up and yank your covers off!”

When the keepers were sleeping on a floor mattress, the elephant would pull the cover off them to wake them up for milk, and stroke their face with a wet trunk. The elephant caretakers now sleep on bunks above the elephants.

The pulling-blanket alarm clock, on the other hand, is not required for carers who have worked with the newborns for some time. Their sleep cycles naturally wake them up. One keeper observed, “It’s as if their thoughts are programmed to wake up every three hours.”

 David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) keepers taking care of baby elephants

“We want them all to live,” says the narrator.

The caretakers also keep an eye on the newborn elephants while they snooze again. They are also among the few individuals on the planet who get to view sleeping elephants. “They do snore on occasion,” a keeper said. “They trumpet and don’t wake up, and they kick their legs while they sleep.”

The newborn elephants, as lovely as they are, aren’t the greatest of bunkmates. The keepers must become accustomed to the scent of their living quarters. Furthermore, the newborns get gassy. One keeper said, “Back when we used to lie on a mattress on the hay, one elephant nearly spilled poo on my face while I was asleep.” “When I awoke, it was right in front of my eyes!”

Despite the challenges, the caretakers are committed to the newborn elephants. After all, in the wild, newborns are always close to their moms. The keepers feel that forming such a bond with the children will help them stay healthy. “It gives the infants a sense of security,” a keeper explained. “You’re like a mother to them, and your presence allows them to sleep well. When they are able to sleep peacefully, they are able to grow in a healthy manner.” To avoid the youngsters from becoming too attached to one person, the keepers alternate sleeping with various elephants.

However, it isn’t all fun and games. When weak orphans don’t survive, it’s heartbreaking.

One keeper explained that infants are sometimes lost at night rather than during the day.

Perhaps they were ill or came in poor health, and it is too late to help them. At the end of the day, we all want them to live.”

 David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) keepers taking care of baby elephants

Consider adopting an elephant.

While you won’t be able to spend the night with these newborn elephants, you can still help them. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust offers a program where you may adopt one of the elephants for roughly $50 a year. You may pick your adoption from a variety of profiles on the organization’s website (or let them choose for you), and the money raised will go toward helping these creatures. A list of all the baby elephant profiles can be found here.

An adoption certificate, a monthly email update about your adoptee, access to exclusive content such as films and images, and a monthly painting by Angela Sheldrick are all included in a digital adoption. Alternatively, you can support the charity by giving or purchasing items from their collection, which includes fine-art prints, journals, apparel, purses, teas, jewelry, chocolate, and more – all of which are cruelty-free.

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