Photo by @amivitale. The last few days have been a worrying time for Africa's elephants. The indication from U.S. on lifting a ban on importing hunted elephant trophies policy decisions has underscored just how vulnerable elephant populations are and how much needs to be done to protect them. We are committed, more than ever, in providing homes for orphaned elephants and creating a society that appreciates and treasures all elephants.
If you are able to join us in creating and sustaining protective, nurturing and empowering environments for both the wildlife and the people whose economic livelihoods depend on it, please make a donation to Reteti today. Link in profile.
In this photo, Keeper Lemarash watches over his ward, Warges. Warges was rescued from right here, nearby Reteti. His mother had bullet wounds in her foot and died of septicimia as a result. He is named after the largest peak in the Matthews Range, and he himself is the largest elephant in the herd and despite all he's been through, he's a big softy - a happy, friendly, easy going guy who loves to eat.
@natgeo photographer @amivitale has launched a flash print sale to benefit Reteti. 100% of the proceeds will go towards supporting the elephants here, our work and our community. Thank you, Ami, for this beautiful generous gesture. And those of you looking to support elephants today, buying this joyous photo is a wonderful way to do it. Please spread the word. Link to sale in profile.
Lingwesi reaches up high with a trunk for a nice snack on the daily walk. An elephant's trunk is both an upper lip and a nose. It has no bones and more than 150,000 muscle units. An elephant's trunk can pull down trees and lift 300kg.
Photo by @amivitale.
It's so hard to believe that more than a year has passed since Reteti first opened its doors. In this photo, Mary, one of Reteti's first women keepers stays in the pen with Suiyan, our very first rescue. Suiyan was rescued in Sept. 2016. In the first days that an elephant arrives, keepers tend to stay with the orphans around the clock to offer comfort and be sure that the calf gets any medical attention he or she needs.
Congratulations to Dan Hammer (@econohammer) , recipient of the first ever Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award. Dan is the co-founded Earth Genome, a nonprofit organization that seeks to put environmental data in the hands of decision makers. His current project, Overview News, would give journalists and other storytellers easy access to satellite imagery—and help them understand it. The end goal is supporting environmental news that is more lucid and reliable.
We are thrilled for Dan and his vital work and so honored to have had Katie Rowe representing Reteti among the distinguished finalists for this tremendous prize.
Photo by @batian_kenya. This is a photo of our very first rescue, Shaba arriving at Reteti.
This is the video of the very first moment our newest orphan Loisaba was introduced to the rest of the herd on Thursday. Nadasoit, his first friend, came barreling down the hill to meet Loisaba. They then began to intertwine trunks, like little children holding hands. The other elephants, followed, excited to see him and eager to get to know him. They followed Loisaba everywhere for the rest of the afternoon.
We have another, wonderful new elephant at the sanctuary. We'd like everyone to welcome Loisaba. He came to us by plane from @loisaba_conservancy where he was found malnourished and wandering alone.
Here he is, drinking his milk enthusiastically, yesterday, with his keeper, Lemarash. He's adjusting beautifully. We'll post more updates on his progress soon. With the addition of Loisaba, that brings us up to 11 orphan elephants and one baby rhino at the sanctuary.
Photo by @amivitale. Lingwezi makes his way through low brush while out on his daily nature walk with the rest of the herd. Elephants play an important role in the ecosystem here in Northern Kenya, trampling small trees and feeding on low brush. This allows grasses to grow for bulk grazers, like buffalo, endangered Grevy’s zebras, eland, and oryx as well as for the livestock of the communities who live in the area.
Life is Good (@lifeisgoodco) Co-Founder Bert Jacobs greets a happy Nadasoit. Bert has created a special Sarara t-shirt celebrating the elephants which he is wearing in the picture. 100% percent of the profits will go to supporting elephants, like those at the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary. We're so grateful for this generous gesture and this beautiful shirt.
You can order yours at http://www.lifeisgood.com/sarara-elephant/ (the link is in our profile temporarily for now.) Photo by @amivitale
All going well so far with the rescued calf. He has a long road ahead of him and we hope for the very best. Reteti team will work all hours of the day to care for him and to give him the best possible chance of surviving and growing into a big bull elephant that will one day roam north Kenya again.
Thank you to everyone for your concern, love and prayers for him.
Warges rests his head on Shaba's rump, taking a rest from the Reteti watering hole. Not only is the watering hole important to keeping cool and hydrated for all the elephants, it's also a fun place to play.
Nadasoit reaches up for a snack on the wilderness walk. She is the new baby of the herd, just five months old. She has just started browsing, stripping and eating bark off trees and bushes. She's still getting the hang of it, but having fun with it too.
Happy World Rhino Day, part 2! Reteti resident black #rhino Loijipu was only a day old when he was abandoned. Now 6 months old, expert wildlife keeper Mary and her colleagues will feed and care for him until he is old enough to be released back into the wild.
The herd on the move. Every day at Reteti all 9 of the orphaned elephants we care for head out into the wild at 6 a.m. and they don't return until 6 p.m. This time in nature helps them become accustomed to what being in the wild means and they can also potentially meet the other animals who live there. This helps prepare the elephants for a better transition when they are ready to return to their natural habitat.