As many of you will know, having seen our blog posts and our pictures of elephants in the clinic and on our website, we have been supporting the work of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for a number of years. It is therefore with much sadness that we must let you know of the passing of the Trust’s founder, Daphne Sheldrick.
Daphne founded the trust after the passing of her husband, David Sheldrick, the founder warden of Kenya’s largest National Park, Tsavo East, in 1977. Through her work, and the work of those who she inspired, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has made a huge difference to wildlife conservation efforts in Kenya, greater Africa and around the world.
Here are some words from Daphne’s daughter, Angela Sheldrick:
“It is all very raw but I must share with you the passing of my incredible mother Daphne Sheldrick. What an example she was to us all, and I feel blessed to have been able to call her my Mum because she was quite simply ‘one of a kind’. She was a national treasure and a conservation icon. Daphne passed away the evening of the 12th April after a long battle with breast cancer, a battle she finally lost. Her legacy is immeasurable and her passing will reverberate far and wide because the difference she has made for conservation in Kenya is unparalleled. She will be sorely missed, but never forgotten, and this is what Daphne drew the most comfort from in her final weeks; knowing that her memory and work would continue with the tiny steps of baby elephants for generations to come and that the work that she pioneered has been able to achieve so much for wildlife and wild places throughout Kenya. She died knowing that she will continue to make a difference each and every day upon a land that she held so dear to her heart through the work of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, thanks to a dedicated team she leaves behind. Daphne was fortunate to live long enough to preside over mud baths at Ithumba with well over 100 orphans, ex orphans and wild friends frolicking, and be able to say to herself, ‘but for I’. What a gift she leaves us all with, as she really is a shining example of the finest of humanity. Thank you all for your love and passion and support.”