Damn, I am a Dad Now!

Photo of Damn, I am a Dad Now! 1/1 by Anuj Tikku

Masaai Mara had been great and no two ways about that as I had enjoyed it to the fullest. I went back to Nairobi after that for a two-day tour of the city. I parked myself in a hotel aptly called After 40 for two nights at $100 a night. My friend back from school at Welham Boys, Yah Krishna, sent a car for me and I was off to see a really loving place called the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

The Elephant Orphanage

Photo of Elephant and Rhino Nursery, Nairobi, Kenya by Anuj Tikku

The organisation was founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E, in honour of her late husband, an Englishman and a famous naturalist and founding warden of Tsavo East National Park, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE. It is a famous landmark in Nairobi. Housed here are orphaned animals like elephants, mambas and rhinos.

School children watching the animals

Photo of Damn, I am a Dad Now! by Anuj Tikku

They have a show beginning at 11 am every day where baby elephants all under the age of four are showcased to a cheering crowd. There were school children watching the show and playing with these orphaned elephants.

Adopting an elephant!

Photo of Damn, I am a Dad Now! by Anuj Tikku

The elephants were fed milk and grass, and looked cheerful as they rolled in the mud and enjoyed being the centre of attraction.

The Elephant Keeper!

Photo of Damn, I am a Dad Now! by Anuj Tikku

The elephant keepers treated them like their own kids and very lovingly fed them milk.

Elephant Milk Bottles - bigger than your everyday baby bottles!

Photo of Damn, I am a Dad Now! by Anuj Tikku

After they grow up and are strong enough, they will be let free in their natural habitat where they can join a new herd and find a family.

Watching baby elephants frolic!

Photo of Damn, I am a Dad Now! by Anuj Tikku

We were told that these orphans had been spotted alone as their mother had died. Without the milk of the mother, they would not be able to survive or would be attacked by lions or hyenas and eaten alive.

Caregivers for orphaned elephants

Photo of Damn, I am a Dad Now! by Anuj Tikku

Some were found alone in bushes due to man and nature conflicts as they were thrown out of their natural habitat.

These orphans were picked up and nurtured like their own children. They were fed, loved and cared for by their keepers and slowly, they were brought back to health.

Nadotto - Orphaned and adopted!

Photo of Damn, I am a Dad Now! by Anuj Tikku

My heart went out to them and even at a ripe age of 38, I have also been orphaned after losing my father. I instantly decided to become a father and adopted one of the orphaned elephants by the name of Nadotto. I paid $50 to sponsor him and got a certificate with Nadotto’s details and photographs.

Baby Elephants have memories too!

Photo of Damn, I am a Dad Now! by Anuj Tikku

I was told I'd receive monthly updates on how he was developing. I loved the concept and I firmly believe now that it is better to adopt an animal child than a human child. An animal will be grateful and love you back twice as much but a human child will be ungrateful and deceitful when he grows up. I knew as I had been there and have begun to think that humans are the worst animals on the planet. Their greed has destroyed our planet as humans know only how to take more and more but animals are the true givers.

Once I have the technical details done, I am planning to carry a section in my blog which will be updated every month and show the progress of Nadotto, my elephant son, and will also showcase his photos and paintings that are, perhaps, made for him. Thinking about them, I was reduced to tears to see these beautiful beasts and the compassion of their keepers.

The Compassionate Keeper.

Photo of Damn, I am a Dad Now! by Anuj Tikku

I felt so small when I looked at how people like Sheldrick have devoted their entire life to look after and rehabilitate these beautiful beasts. A part of me thought, damn, I am a dad now! It may sound crazy but I know I am not alone anymore and in Nadotto, I have found a son, who would love me the way I love him and perhaps will always be grateful, unlike humans. That emotional connect with Nadotto would be the highlight of my blog from today onwards.

Originally posted on tikkustravelthon.in

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