In memory of our founder,
We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE, conservationist and founder of the DSWT, who passed away on the evening of April 12, 2018 after a long battle with breast cancer.
Born in Kenya in 1934, Daphne dedicated her life to the protection of Africa's wildlife. She and her husband David, the founder warden of Tsavo East, transformed Kenya's largest national park into a protected space for the largest elephant population in the country and all manner of wild species. On David's passing in 1977, Daphne founded The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and over the next 40 years, she helped both protect and shape the world's understanding of elephants and rhinos.
As in elephant society, the mantle of matriarch has been passed to Daphne's daughter Angela, who has run the DSWT for 17 years. It is her words that memorialize her mother best:
What an example Daphne was to us all, and I feel blessed to have been able to call her my Mum because she was quite simply 'one of a kind'. She was a national treasure and a conservation icon. Her legacy is immeasurable and her passing will reverberate far and wide because the difference she has made for conservation in Kenya is unparalleled.
She will be sorely missed, but never forgotten, and this is what Daphne drew the most comfort from in her final weeks; knowing that her memory and work would continue with the tiny steps of baby elephants for generations to come and that the work that she pioneered has been able to achieve so much for wildlife and wild places throughout Kenya. She died knowing that she will continue to make a difference each and every day upon a land that she held so dear to her heart through the work of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, thanks to a dedicated team she leaves behind. Daphne was fortunate to live long enough to preside over mud baths at Ithumba with well over 100 orphans, ex orphans and wild friends frolicking, and be able to say to herself, 'but for I'. What a gift she leaves us all with, as she really is a shining example of the finest of humanity. Thank you all for your love and passion and support.
If you wish to make a donation to commemorate Daphne's life and help The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust continue to protect the wild lives she loved so much, we have created the link below: