A Triumph for Conservation: Yatta’s Heartwarming Moment and the Triumph of the Orphans’ Project

In October 2017, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) celebrated a remarkable achievement that highlighted the success of their Orphans’ Project.

Yatta, the matriarch of the wild-living orphan herd at Ithumba, alongside her adopted ‘sisters’ Sunyei and Nasalot, welcomed the arrival of healthy calves.

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This joyous occasion marked the 28th wild-born baby, showcasing the significant impact of the Orphans’ Project in seamlessly reintegrating elephants into their natural habitats.


The birth of these healthy calves to Yatta, Sunyei, and Nasalot in October 2017 symbolized a significant milestone for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphans’ Project.

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The natural births of these wild-born babies stand as a testament to the trust’s unwavering commitment to conservation and the welfare of elephants.

Eight of the 28 wild-born babies were born near the Ithumba stockades.


This organic expansion of the wild-living orphan herds exemplifies the project’s effectiveness in reintegrating elephants into their native environments.

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The herds are transforming into a composition resembling a wild herd, complete with sisters, aunts, teenage calves, and young babies.

Yatta’s incredible journey, from being rescued as a one-month-old victim of poaching in 1999 to becoming a matriarch in the wild, is a living testament to the trust’s dedication.


Overcoming health challenges, Yatta developed formidable strength, forming deep bonds with fellow orphans and successfully integrating into wild herds.

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Yatta’s role as a leading matriarch and her profound maternal instincts played a pivotal role in the success of the reintegration process.

Her connection with the younger orphans translocated to Ithumba from the Nairobi Nursery exemplifies the robust bonds formed within the elephant community.


Eight years after graduating from the Nursery, Yatta gave birth to her first calf, Yetu, in January 2012.

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Adding to the joy, on October 7, 2017, Yatta celebrated the arrival of her second calf, Yoyo.

The return to her former stockades allowed the human family at DSWT to celebrate the new addition to the wild Ex-Orphan herd.


Yatta’s joy and the successful births underscore the cyclical nature of life, emphasizing the positive impact of the Orphans’ Project.

These moments of celebration reflect the trust’s ongoing commitment to the well-being and conservation of elephants in their natural habitats.

The success of Yatta and her fellow orphans-turned-wild elephants is a testament to the enduring impact of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphans’ Project.


As these wild-born babies continue to thrive, the trust’s dedication to conservation and the welfare of elephants remains a beacon of hope for the future.

Yatta’s journey from a rescued orphan to a matriarch celebrating the birth of her second calf symbolizes the triumph of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphans’ Project.

The natural births of wild-born babies and the expanding herds near Ithumba showcase the trust’s dedication to conservation and the seamless reintegration of elephants into their natural habitats.


DSWT remains at the forefront of elephant welfare as the circle of life continues, ensuring a brighter future for these majestic creatures in the wild.

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