Kenyan conservationist Daphne Sheldrick dies

Kenyan conservationist Daphne Sheldrick dies

Dame Daphne Sheldrick, a well-known Kenyan conservationist who helped protect the East African country’s wildlife for 60 years, has died.

Her organisation announced the death on Friday, describing her as a friend of elephants who “learned to read their hearts.”

Born in 1934 in Kenya, she founded the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) 43 years later.

“In 2006 Queen Elizabeth II appointed Dr Daphne Sheldrick to Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the first Knighthood to be awarded in Kenya since the country received Independence in 1963,” the statement on the website reads.

Sheldrick died after a long battle with breast cancer, the statement said, adding that her efforts helped deepen the world’s understanding of elephants and rhinos.

“Daphne’s life’s work has featured in countless television programmes, including the BBC’s Elephant Diaries, 60 minutes – The Orphanage, For the Love of Elephants and The Elephant Who Found a Mom,” her daughter Angela Sheldrick said in the statement.

She pioneered raising orphaned infant elephants and rhinos on milk, the statement said, and that the knowledge has since saved 230 elephants in Kenya.
“Daphne was the first person to successfully hand-raise a milk dependent new born elephant and rhino,” the statement said.

She leaves behind two daughters, four grandchildren and “a family of now wild-living orphaned elephants and a lasting legacy for wildlife conservation.”

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