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My Babies

Added: Saturday, September 21st 2019 at 8:34am by Maria

This year I was fortunate enough to have finally been able to visit my adopted babies at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi Kenya.

I had five altogether but one didnt make it unfortunately.  So now I have four but they are doing really well.

These are their rescue stories.

My first adoptee is Mapia who has now graduated to one step closer to being rehabilitated back into the wild and has been moved to Ithumba Re-Integration Unit where he is able to mingle with wild elephants within the safety of  the protected Tsavo East National Park. 

He is still being cared for by the keepers at the unit but during the day he gets to forage in the wild where herds of wild elephants abound.

Current age

2 years old

Date of Birth

06 November 2016

Reason Orphaned

Drought related





My second adoptee is Sattao and he too has just recently graduated to the Re-integration unit and is doing very well.

Current age

2 years old

Date of Birth

10 December 2016

Reason Orphaned

Suspected poaching






My third adoptee is Merru, unfortunately this baby did not make it.

Here's his rescue video.....



The sad news I received from Angela Sheldrick about this poor little baby's passing.


Before the Kenya Wildlife Service rangers received reports and were able to get to him, he was set upon by a few individual community members who looked to kill him. As a result of this he suffered from a severe brain injury that left him rotating in circles. In time, thanks to the tender care and dedication from his DSWT Keepers, this affliction appeared to improve and we were optimistic he was on the mend. Worryingly, he still remained with a weakened left-side, that some days was worse than others.

He remained slow and lacklustre and despite multiple blood tests nothing was obviously evident. On the evening of the 3rd November Merru came into his stable slower than usual and looked alarmingly dull. Despite our best efforts over the following days and nights, he continued to lose strength and heartbreakingly died on the morning of the 7th November 2018.

After being so convinced Merru was on the road to a full recovery, and after all that had befallen this little calf, this is devastating news for us all. The only comfort we can take is to know that his time with us was filled with love and nurturing care and he had settled in so well. All involved did their best but so very sadly, it was not to be.



After his passing away, my adoption contribution was transferred to their latest rescue, Mukkoka.



Current age

23 months old

Date of Birth

24 September 2017

Reason Orphaned







And then, when I visited the orphanage in Nairobi back in May, I met and fell in love with Luggard so I adopted him on the spot.

It is just coincidence that he happens to have the same birthday as me!!


Current age

3 years old

Date of Birth

01 November 2015

Reason Orphaned

Human-Wildlife Conflict





Unfortunately this little boy might never be able to be re-integrated back into the wild because of the severe deformity of his leg.  This will severely inhibit his ability to run away from or fight predators in the wild so they will take care of him for the rest of his life.

And I will continue to support his care for as long as it takes.


Anyone wanting any information about adopting an orphan baby at this facility, please visit David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

They do an amazing job the rewards of watching your baby grow from a very traumatised infant to a magnificent elephant cannot be measured.


User Comments

They're adoreable Maria. What a rewarding cause. How long is it before they are full grown? I never gave it any thought that they would still be so small at 2 years old.  

They reach maturity at around 20 years of age, most of them are not yet fully weaned at up to 5 years of age. They live to about 70, pretty much the average life span of humans.

It is very rewarding when you adopt these babies because you get to watch them grow up into beautiful adults who eventually go back to the wild and have families of their own.  There have been several of the females bringing their babies back to the humans who took care of them when they themselves were orphaned.

I can't help but notice some of the similarities they have to humans. As babies, their playfulness, ornery, teasing, game playing like a human child. The mothers, always keeping a watchfull/protective eye on their children. 

They also have the very human traits of compassion and empathy. So much research has proven this time and time again.  They really are incredible animals and they need to be protected. 

Yes, they're incredible in so many ways. 

Oh my gosh your 4th birthday is coming up! How come you never told us you're a prodigy?! {#basic-laugh.gif}


you are doing good work...I know you love animals, esp elephants.

they are my babies, my children and I really hope every one of them will outlive me!!...{#basic-laugh.gif}

I love your dedication to those sweet elephants.  They have a great Mom in you!

Thank you Dani, meeting them in person was the ultimate reward!!...{#basic-laugh.gif}

they are lovely  elephants,,,sorry you lost one ...that was  sad,,:(..loved the new baby,, he looks lively xx his ears  flapping [is he angry!]

yes that was tragic losing Merru, he deserved to live a full and happy life after having such a horrific start.

Nice Elephants Maria. Bro. Doc

These are my children Bro Doc and they will all outlive me....{#basic-laugh.gif}

Yes, I understand that. lol. Bro. Doc

It is so wonderful that you contribute. I am sorry thatone didn't make it.

Thanks Marissa. Yes it was so heart-breaking that Merru didnt get to live and experience more love and kindness and joy of being with his brothers and sisters and grow up to be a beautiful bull living in the wild.  He had the worst start to life and went through a very horrific torture by those people who tried to kill him.

Those little elephants are so lovely.  It is a great thing that you are doing Maria.  l felt very sad when l read about Merru after everything he had gone through.

Merru had a very horrific start to life and that's what makes it even more tragic. He should have been able to get through and live a full and happy life...{#basic-cry.gif}

It is heartbreaking.

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