BORN TO BE WILD
DR. DAME DAPHNE M. SHELDRICK, DBE (The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust) is the
widow of David Sheldrick, internationally renowned conservationist and one of
the world's leading authorities on African wildlife, as well as the Founder
Warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya. After his death in 1977, Dame
Daphne was given permission by the government to continue her work with orphaned
wild animals. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was established in l977, and
the small house she built within the Nairobi National Park has evolved into its
Dame Daphne has cared for infant elephants and black rhino among other wild
species since the first orphans were handed into her care in the mid-eighties.
Since then, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has hand-reared over 130 orphaned
elephants with the specialized milk formula and husbandry developed by Dame
Daphne necessary to steer them into adulthood. She has taught some 50 keepers
how to rescue and rehabilitate hundreds of needy animals, releasing them back
into Tsavo's wild population.
A proponent of wildlife conservation, Dame Daphne also campaigns tirelessly
against the abuse of captive animals. She is the author of four international
best-selling books and has given numerous lectures, made television appearances
and written dozens of articles. Her autobiography, An African Love Story, is to
be released in Spring 2012.
Growing up on a Kenyan dairy farm in the 1930s, she adopted her first wild
orphan, a baby bushbuck, at the age of three. Her brother Peter Jenkins joined
the National Parks service when the Nairobi National Park came into being in
1948 and through him she met her husband David, who created the giant Tsavo
National Park from virgin bush.
Dame Daphne has received several prestigious honors: appointment by Queen
Elizabeth II in 1989 as a Member of the British Empire, and in 2006 as Dame
Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the female
equivalent of a Knighthood. She was delegated to the United Nations
Environmental Program's 1992 Global 500 Roll of Honor; and received an Honorary
Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery from Glasgow University in 2000,
along with the BBC's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, the Kenyan Government
decorated her as a Moran of the Burning Spear for her conservation work.
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