The visit to the elephant orphanage follows talks between the two First Ladies held at the White House in August this year where the Kenyan First Lady, who accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta on an official visit to Washington DC, outlined her conservation efforts in Kenya including her adoption of a baby elephant christened Tundani some years back.
Tundani was estimated to be under a year old at the time it was adopted by First Lady Margaret in June 2013 after being found stranded in the Tiva River Valley in Tsavo East National Park. There were no other elephants in the area suggesting that Tundani lost its mother and family as a result of poaching.
During today’s visit to the wildlife trust, the two First Ladies interacted freely with orphaned baby elephants, sharing love and care by bottle feeding them with milk.
Ms Angela Sheldrick, the Executive Director of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust established in 1977, narrated to the First Ladies moving stories of how the orphaned baby elephants were rescued and brought to the orphanage.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta commended the trust for their efforts in rescuing baby elephants and for giving them such loving care.
The Kenyan First Lady also briefed her US counterpart on the “Hands Off Our Elephants” initiative, a broad-based wildlife conservation campaign that targets to curb poaching in Kenya. First Lady Margaret is spearheading the initiative as its patron.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has in the past conducted other visiting First Ladies on tours of David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, signifying her keen interest in conservation efforts including the reintegration of orphaned baby elephants, rescued from poaching, back to the national parks once they mature or heal.
In August 2016, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta took the spouses of the Presidents of Japan, Central Africa Republic, Mauritius, Mali, Somalia, Lesotho and Cote d’ Ivoire, who were in the country to attend the 2016 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Nairobi, to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust where they had an opportunity to experience first hand and marveled at the friendliness of the orphaned baby elephants.
In December 2013, the Kenyan First Lady also hosted the First Lady of Sri Lanka, Shiranthi Rajapaksa.