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Photo by @amivitale. Orphaned elephant calf Shaba comforts Pokot with her trunk as they wait in a crate to be transported to Sera Conservancy for their reintroduction into the wild. Shaba was rescued by Reteti Elephant Sanctuary (@r.e.s.c.u.e) in northern Kenya in 2016 after poachers killed her mother. Pokot, a victim of the drought, was rescued in 2017. After the team at @r.e.s.c.u.e was able to gain her trust, Shaba quickly became the proxy-matriarch of the sanctuary and behaviors like this - comforting those who were smaller than her - are second nature. On Nov. 16 of this year, Shaba and Pokot were released into the wild alongside Mpala. The three are doing exceptionally well. They have integrated with one of the wild herds in the area, which is exactly what everyone had worked for. @r.e.s.c.u.e is the first ever community owned elephant sanctuary in all of Africa. This oasis where orphans grow up, learning to be wild so that one day they can rejoin their herds, is a story as much about the elephants as it is about all of humanity. @conservationorg @kenyawildlifeservice @nrt_kenya @sandiegozoo @tusk_org @davematthewsband @thephotosociety @photography.for.good @natgeo @natgeoimagecollection @nikonusa @magicalkenya #protectelephants #bekindtoelephants #DontLetThemDisappear #elephants #saveelephants #stoppoaching #kenya #northernkenya #magicalkenya #whyilovekenya #africa #everydayafrica #photojournalism #amivitale #nikonusa #nikonlove #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador
Photo by @amivitale. Reteti Elephant Sanctuary keepers take Shaba and Pokot out for one final nature walk in Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya prior to their re-introduction into the wild. Rescued as young calves, Shaba had been cared for by the dedicated team at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary (@r.e.s.c.u.e) for three years and Pokot for two before they were ready to return to the wild. The team had grown very close to each of the animals. They spend more time with these elephants than with their own families and deep bonds had formed. This final walk was a way for everyone to say goodbye before the elephants were transferred to nearby Sera Conservancy for their release (along with Mpala who is not in this photo). Shaba, Mpala and Pokot were reintroduced to the wild on Nov. 16. All are doing well. They have successfully reintegrated into one of the nearby wild herds, which is exactly what all had hoped would happen. Their easy integration is a testament to the knowledge and hard work of all the keepers at @r.e.s.c.u.e. @r.e.s.c.u.e is the first ever community owned elephant sanctuary in all of Africa. What’s happening at Reteti is nothing less than the beginnings of a transformation not only in the way humans relate to wild animals but also how we relate to one another. This oasis where orphans grow up, learning to be wild so that one day they can rejoin their herds, is a story as much about the elephants as it is about all of humanity. @conservationorg @kenyawildlifeservice @nrt_kenya @sandiegozoo @tusk_org @davematthewsband @thephotosociety @photography.for.good @natgeo @natgeoimagecollection @nikonusa @magicalkenya #protectelephants #bekindtoelephants #DontLetThemDisappear #elephants #saveelephants #stoppoaching #kenya #northernkenya #magicalkenya #whyilovekenya #africa #everydayafrica #photojournalism #amivitale #nikonusa #nikonlove #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador
Photos by @amivitale. The wondrous Pokot, who has been lovingly cared for by the team at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary (@r.e.s.c.u.e) for 2 years, has returned to the wild. Pokot arrived at @r.e.s.c.u.e when he was just 6-months-old, a victim of the drought. It took days of intensive care to nurse him back to health. When signs of playfulness began to emerge, they knew they had turned a corner. He quickly became a staff favorite. He's known at the sanctuary as “Sangalia” which means "lone bull." He is kind, gentle and calm and can entertain himself endlessly with games of soccer and diving in the mud-bath, absorbed in his own little world. Pokot was reintroduced into the wild alongside Shaba and Mpala on Nov. 16. The three are doing wonderfully and have even integrated into one of the wild herds in the area. @r.e.s.c.u.e is the first ever community owned and operated elephant sanctuary in all of Africa. Its goal is to care for and rehabilitate orphaned elephant calves back into the wild. These three and their success in quick re-integration is a testament to the team's knowledge, ability and dedication. @conservationorg @kenyawildlifeservice @nrt_kenya @sandiegozoo @tusk_org @davematthewsband @thephotosociety @photography.for.good @natgeo @natgeoimagecollection @nikonusa @magicalkenya #protectelephants #bekindtoelephants #DontLetThemDisappear #elephants #saveelephants #stoppoaching #kenya #northernkenya #magicalkenya #whyilovekenya #africa #everydayafrica #photojournalism #amivitale #nikonusa #nikonlove #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador
Photos by @amivitale. Beloved orphan elephant Shaba who has been lovingly cared for at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary (@r.e.s.c.u.e) for the past three years has returned to the wild. To say she will be missed is an understatement. Shaba arrived at @r.e.s.c.u.e traumatized when she was just over a year old. Her mother had been killed by poachers. She was distrustful, and wanted nothing to do with the team. The dedicated keepers at @r.e.s.c.u.e didn't give up. They spent day and night, talking, singing, offering her seed pods and fresh grass—anything they could think of to win her over so that she would accept a bottle. Then, one day, after one of the keepers stood with her for an hour in a stack of tires, she finally took a bottle, and a strong bond was formed. Shaba has been the proxy matriarch at the sanctuary since @r.e.s.c.u.e's founding in 2016. She would take care of the newly arrived orphans, making sure they were protected and felt nurtured when they were vulnerable and weak. She taught all of the keepers how to be with these beautiful creatures who needed help. It was a delight to watch her teaching the younger ones how to navigate steep paths, to strip bark from trees and find the freshest browse. It was unforgettable seeing her comfort the little ones with a reassuring gesture of her trunk. Our hearts are full knowing that she is back in the wild where she belongs. We will never forget her. To everyone’s delight, Shaba, Pokot and Mpala have successfully integrated into one of the wild herds near the sanctuary. This is the best outcome we could have hoped for. @conservationorg @kenyawildlifeservice @nrt_kenya @sandiegozoo @tusk_org @davematthewsband @thephotosociety @photography.for.good @natgeo @natgeoimagecollection @nikonusa @magicalkenya #protectelephants #bekindtoelephants #DontLetThemDisappear #elephants #saveelephants #stoppoaching #kenya #northernkenya #magicalkenya #whyilovekenya #africa #everydayafrica #photojournalism #amivitale #nikonusa #nikonlove #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador
Happy Thanksgiving! I have exciting news to share with you! Our beloved orphaned elephants Shaba, Pokot and Mpala have been successfully re-introduced to the wild by the incredible team at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary (@r.e.s.c.u.e). Shaba has been the matriarch of the herd of orphaned elephants since @r.e.s.c.u.e opened in 2016. She took care of the newly arrived orphans and made sure they were protected and felt nurtured when they were vulnerable and weak. Pokot and Mpala were victims of the drought. Pokot was the fun-loving lone bull who always liked to lag behind the herd while female Mpala was one of the team, always in the middle of their playful antics. Now they are back in the wild where they belong and have successfully integrated into one of the wild herds at the Sera wildlife sanctuary in northern Kenya. We are so full of gratitude to have been able to share this inspiring story since Shaba's earliest days at the sanctuary. This moment could not have happened without your generous support and the support of @r.e.s.c.u.e's dedicated partners @nrt_kenya @conservationorg @kenyawildlifeservice @sandiegozoo @elephantcooperation and @davematthewsband. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Please follow along for the next few weeks as we share more details about this powerful moment, these incredible beings and this special place. Video by @amivitale. @conservationorg @kenyawildlifeservice @nrt_kenya @davematthewsband @sandiegozoo @tusk_org @thephotosociety @photography.for.good @natgeo @natgeoimagecollection @nikonusa @magicalkenya #protectelephants #bekindtoelephants #DontLetThemDisappear #elephants #saveelephants #stoppoaching #kenya #northernkenya #magicalkenya #whyilovekenya #africa #everydayafrica #photojournalism #amivitale #nikonusa #nikonlove #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador
Photo by @amivitale. Cattle owned by the Fulani Mbororo are milked before they head out to graze in the early morning hours near a remote village in Chad. The Mbororo people are nomadic cattle-herders and traders and move every few days with their animals in search of fresh grazing land and water. I'm here on behalf of @rippleeffectimages documenting the work of Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim (@hindououmar), who is working to harness the centuries of wisdom and weather-predicting techniques among the indigenous Mbororo to adapt to the impact of climate change. @hindououmar is a leader in both AFPAT (Association of Peul Women and Autochthonous Peoples of Chad) and within the @UN advocate for the powerful role indigenous people have in addressing climate change. Watch for her powerful talks as she takes the stage this week at #COP25. @hindououmar's work most recently earned her the prestigious 2019 Pritzker Environmental Genius Award administered by @uclaioes that I was proud to nominate her for. Follow me and @rippleeffectimages for more updates from this powerful story of empowerment and climate advocacy. @conservationorg @photography.for.good @natgeo @natgeoimagecollection @thephotosociety @nikonusa #PritzkerEnvironmentalGeniusAward #inspiring #inspiration #humanitarian #wisdom #climatechange #mitigation #pritzkergeniusaward #globalwarming #adaption #mbororo #indigenous #indigneouspeople #letgirlslearn #mothers #daughters #educateagirl #thefutureisfemale #education #globalwarming #climateemergency #climateadvocacy #climateadaption #therippleeffect #rippleeffectimages #rippleeffect