Happy Father’s Day, and I hope you like your elephant.

Milk Rush, by Angela Sheldrick; from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust website.

There comes a point in many people’s lives where they don’t need any more stuff.  My parents, and myself too for that matter, have reached that point.  For birthdays and other gift giving holidays, they don’t  expect or want us to give them stuff.  Being told that you are loved and appreciated is a far better gift to receive than soap or ______ (fill in the blank).

One year for Christmas my family made donations to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (http://www.bestfriends.org/)  instead of giving gifts to each other.  I have done something similar this year to honor my dad for Father’s Day.  A baby elephant, Shukuru, has been sponsored in my dad’s name, at a very special foundation, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.  http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/index.asp

Since 1977, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has been helping save the lives of baby elephants and rhinos as well as many other conservation programs in Kenya.  Their website has a list of all the elephants available for sponsorship, and a description of the other good works they do, such as the de-snaring program and mobile veterinary unit .  A recently released film, Born To Be Wild, shows much of what they do in an entertaining IMAX 3D story.

This is one of the elephants in the very first wild herd I saw in Tanzania.

I don’t know why, but I have always been fascinated by elephants.  The first wild elephants I saw were in Tanzania in 2007.  I was surprised by how silently they moved, covering a long distance in a short amount of time.  My sister and I were in a safari jeep on a dirt road, and we watched them appear on the horizon on our right, cross the road in front of us, and disappear off to the horizon on our left.  You could hear them rumbling and speaking to each other.  It was captivating.

Elephants crossing the road in Tanzania in 2007.


Elephant dust bath, Tanzania 2007.


Botswana 2011.

Me and Jabu at the "Living with Elephants" Foundation in Botswana.

Elephant closeup.

Happy Father’s Day Dad.  I love you, and I hope you like your elephant!

Tusk Bearers of Tomorrow, a watercolor by Angela Sheldrick; from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust website

My dad, taken in Norway, I believe some time around 1940.

My dad, with early evidence of his lifelong love of cars.


My dad and my little brother on his first birthday.


My dad with the five of us, and our beloved horse Molly.

Me and my dad.

Father's Day celebration 2008.

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5 Responses to Happy Father’s Day, and I hope you like your elephant.

  1. Joanie says:

    My Dad passed many years ago so my husband is the father I most identify with now. As a dad he has been outstanding. He married me with a ready made family of 2 young boys. My husband was an only child and had never been married. I do not know how I got so lucky, but this man became the best father anyone could have ever imagined. He worked many long hours and income he could have used for golfing vacations was spent on education, cars and vacations for the boys. Now we have 2 young grandchildren and again the award for wonderful Grampa goes to him. So to all that read this I would like to wish my wonderful and generous husband … Happy Father’s Day. With Love .. Your Wife,

  2. hemp says:

    For elephants elephant lovers the elephant information repository is an in-depth resource for elephant related news elephant events and a trunk full of elephant related .. This site has a large amount of information on elephants from their anatomy to the cultures they form in the wild.

  3. ..David Sheldrick transformed the Tsavo East National Park from an empty and unknown region to one of the worlds greatest National Parks in terms of biodiversity and conservation..While David was working hard to manage the Tsavo East region his wife Doctor Dame Daphne Marjorie Sheldrick was working hard to develop and perfect the first-ever milk formula that can be used to feed infant elephants and rhinos..Since the death of David Sheldrick in 1977 Daphne and the rest of the staff at the Trust have dedicated their lives to providing a brighter future for African Elephants and Black Rhinos in need.. .The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has one headquarters on both the northern and southern sides of the Tsavo East National Park along with a nursery for the youngest elephants in Nairobi.

    • Gozlan says:

      Peut on faire un voyage au Kenya et être avec les éléphants ?
      J’aime les éléphants.
      C’est une pation .

      • volovecto says:

        Hello Simone: It is truly awesome to see elephants in the wild, where they should be. And yes, you can see them in Africa. If you have not seen the 2011 movie “Born To Be Wild 3D”, I recommend it. If you support the Sheldrick Wildflife Trust, you can visit the nursery during off hours and see the orphans. A few books that I have enjoyed are;

        Life, Love, and Elephants: An Africa Love Story by Daphne Sheldrick

        The Elephant Whisperer. My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony

        Whatever You Do Don’t Run (True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide) by Peter Allison

        Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer

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