Update Book Launch & a little back story to how it all came about!
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to check out “Mother To Elephants – The Story of Daphne Sheldrick!” I have received a lot of positive feedback and learned from quite a few readers that they had never heard of Daphne before! Well, neither did I before moving to Kenya. And little did I know that my visit to the Sheldrick orphanage would start the seeds for this book project and a book launch many years later!
Let me take you back to the early 90ies in Nairobi, a time, when my wife and I would spend many weekends on safari and could not get enough of the Kenyan wildlife – especially the elephants. I guess it was meant to be that I heard about the elephant orphanage and decided to check it out.
When I arrived at the orphanage, I noticed a little elephant lying on the ground. Upon seeing me, he got up and approached me in a welcoming way. That’s when he proceeded to take my arm in his mouth! I still remember the tingly sensation, and even though my whole hand and part of my arm was in his mouth, I don’t remember being worried. It rather reminded me of a little baby teething and trying to sooth its pain. He then proceeded to lead me with his trunk all around the compound. “Okay, what is he up to?” I was wondering. In any case, if an elephant, even as little as he was, decides to lead you, you have no choice but to follow!
His keepers were thrilled. They told me that his name was Imenti and that he had been lying on the ground for days, barely drinking any milk. They did not think that he would survive. His getting up and taking my arm was a sign to them that this little elephant wanted to live. “He wants to play”, his keeper told me. So, I guess, it is no surprise that I feel quite connected to this guy.
And Imenti proved the keepers right. After leaving Kenya I followed his development and my class in New York even adopted him (something that is still offered by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and in order to raise money for the care of the animals). We received several updates about Imenti’s progress, and I am happy to report that Imenti made it back into the wild. This is not an easy process, mind you. It takes around 10 years until an elephant is ready to return to the wild once more.
What is so endearing about the tale of Daphne and her keepers is how her former orphans returned to visit Daphne and her keepers with wild baby elephants in tow!
Daphne used to say that there is a lot we still don't know about these intelligent beings. She believed that her elephants would make distinctions between people who care for them and those who are less caring. I didn't know it back then, but I like to think Imenti recognized a supporter in me.
If you feel equally moved by The Story of Daphne Sheldrick, please share the news about my book launch with your friends and family. And if you are looking for a gift, look no further. Soft cover and eBook are already available, the hardcover is on pre-order for November 1st, 2023! If you would leave a review in addition, this would be appreciated and help me reach my goal of 50 for the month.
Thanks again for all your continued support!