Heartwarming visit from orphaned elephant to her keeper after 8 years and brings her baby along

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An orphaned elephant raised by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya nearly 20 years ago, and who later joined a wild herd a few years later when full grown, returned to the trust to “say hello” to Benjamin – the keeper who raised her. This heartwarming moment happened on the day she had given birth.

According to the organization, Sunyei’s return happened in 2017, but the online attention has resurfaced and the “oohs and awwws” are just too sweet to miss. Sunyei had been rehabilitated and full grown by 2009 and had joined a herd with other ex-orphaned elephants. Obviously, Sunyei never forgot about Benjamin – elephants don’t forget.

And then eight years later, she became a mother and just couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit the man who raised her – Benjamin. When the staff realized the baby was only hours old, it had truly been a “heartwarming and special, but perhaps no surprise as we’ve actually seen this happen before.”

Check out the video:


” Ithumba Head Keeper Benjamin catches up with orphaned elephant Sunyei, who he helped raise. Fifty years ago, it was considered impossible to raise an orphaned elephant from milk-dependency, let alone reintroduce them into the wild. Sunyei is testament that this is possible under the right circumstances and, once wild, these orphans can thrive and even start their own families!”

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The organization works to reintegrate orphaned elephants and follow a process that has been honed over 40 years of experience, with more than 160 orphans successfully returned back to the wild. The babies are raised using fortified milk formulas and taught basic survival skills, learning from their Keepers, each other and from other wild elephants. The process can take anywhere from six to ten years and every elephant is different and ultimately decide for themselves when they are ready to enter the wild.

All of these reunions with the elephants are always on their terms and that is what makes it all so special.


.To find out about some of the biggest challenges to raising an elephant and their reintegration, visit: https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/…/raise-

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