Emily was once an orphan baby elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, but she lived her adulthood successfully in the wild. On December 23, 2014, something truly miraculous happened. Emily, without any provocation, returned to the Wildlife Trust to give birth to her calf in the company of the Keepers who had been instrumental in her own upbringing during her formative years.
The Keepers were thrilled and amazed by Emily’s decision to share with them this intimate moment, so rarely witnessed by humans. Emily knew firsthand these Keepers would keep her and her baby safe from predators. Seconds after giving birth, the joyful herd of ex-orphans gather around her, eager to help get the precious new baby, Emma, on her feet. Using their trunks, they gently lift her.
Emily was orphaned as a baby when she fell down a pit latrine in 1993. Though she was robbed of her family at a young age, she now has two daughters of her own; Emma became a little sister to Eve, who was born in 2008. She joined the Trust’s rehabilitation facility to embark on her journey back to the wild. Eventually, she became a strong matriarch in the wild elephant community, “leading and guiding the younger orphans who were part of her orphaned herd.”
Emma’s birth sent the rest of the ex-orphan elephants into a euphoric state. They love nothing more than tiny babies, and now they have another they can call their very own. It is a powerful sight to see the other elephants gather around Emily to show support to this mother, and celebrate the arrival of the newborn.
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