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A tribute to Dame Daphne Sheldrick, Elephant Mother

All of us in the Williamson Tea family were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE.

Born in Kenya in 1934 Daphne dedicated over 60 years of her life to protecting and conserving some of Africa’s most iconic and endangered wildlife.

Daphne and her husband, David, founded Tsavo East, one of Kenya’s largest national parks, and dedicated themselves to creating a safe haven for Kenya’s largest elephant population and a thriving natural environment for countless other species.

On the death of her husband in 1977 Daphne founded The David Sheldrick Wildlife Foundation. Over the next 40 years Daphne nursed, bathed and rehabilitated over 230 orphaned elephants that came to her care most notably in the Nariobi nursery. She was the first to perfect a milk formula to successfully nurse young elephants and through her dedication and perseverance saved numerous baby elephants orphaned too young, as well as many other species.

Most critically she fought tirelessly to raise awareness of these gentle giants and the protection of their species, encouraging their release into the wild and their safety within preserves. Elephants within these areas have gone on to thrive, establishing families of their own and new generations.

Sadly Dame Daphne Sheldrick lost her battle with breast cancer on the 12th April at the age of 83.

A true pioneer of conservation and matriarch to both elephants, the trust and her family, Daphne’s legacy is immeasurable and the lives she touched will not be forgotten.

In her memoir Daphne thanks “the elephants themselves, who by example have demonstrated how to cope with adversity. . . .They, who have suffered so much at the hands of humans, never lose the ability to forgive, even though, being elephants, they will never be able to forget.”

We at Williamson Tea are proud to support the work of The David Sheldrick Trust and to have learnt from Dame Daphne Sheldrick that one person can make a positive and lasting difference. We will continue to support The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust building on Daphn’s legacy and mission to protect and conserve wildlife.