• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

‘Miracles and heartbreak’: saving orphaned elephants as Kenya’s drought devastates herds


Dec 26, 2022
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Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is nursing record numbers of young animals back to health but as rains continue to fail, the vulnerable mammals face a challenging future

It had been a tricky shoot for Alvin Kaunda, a young Kenyan television reporter, but finally, after about 10 takes, he was managing to get through it. His subject: a heartfelt dispatch about the plight of elephants caught up in the drought. His backdrop: three dust-red, flappy-eared orphans chomping through the greenery of their Nairobi home.

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For about 30 seconds, Kaunda spoke movingly about the impact of human activity on the ecosystem. Then it all started to go awry. First, a trunk appeared in the reporter’s left ear, then on his head, then attached itself to his nose, mistaking it, perhaps, for a spot of lunch. Kaunda, who had soldiered on heroically until this point, collapsed into giggles.

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