The Orphan Project, founded by the dedicated Dame Daphne Sheldrick, has long been a haven for orphaned animals seeking a second chance at life and freedom in the wild.
The recent loss of Sokotei, a resilient orphan elephant, has left a lasting impact on the team and highlights the unpredictable nature of life in the wild.
Watch the video at the end.
Sokotei’s story began in 2014 when, at six months old, he entered the nursery after the natural passing of his mother in Samburu.
Facing early challenges, including severe diarrhea, Sokotei’s resilience became a testament to his character.
Over the years, Sokotei formed lasting bonds with fellow elephants like Kithaka, Barsilinga, Suguta, Sirimon, Enkikwe, Olsekki, and Siangiki.
Together, they navigated the journey from the nursery to the Ithumba Unit under the dedicated guidance of their keepers.
Sokotei and his group, led by Laragai, recently achieved independence, venturing further afield and teaming up with former orphans—a testament to the project’s success in reintegrating these majestic creatures into their natural habitat.
Tragedy struck on April 28 when Sokotei fell victim to a lion attack a few kilometers from the Ithumba Stockades.
The incident, a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of the wild, saddened the team.
However, they found solace in knowing Sokotei had been given a second chance at life, made possible by collaborative efforts from various organizations.
Following Sokotei’s passing, a wave of fear echoed among the partially dependent orphans. To comfort them, the team encouraged them to stay close, providing bottles as a source of reassurance.
Older orphans in Mutara’s pack played a vital role in keeping calm and protecting the younger ones during these challenging times.
As the Orphan Project mourns Sokotei’s loss, they reflect on his impact and tireless efforts to give him a second chance.
Sokotei’s story serves as a poignant reminder of the fragility of life in the wild and underscores the ongoing importance of protecting and preserving these fantastic creatures.
Rest in peace, Sokotei; your spirit will forever roam the vast landscapes you once called home.
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