August: Mud Bath

Straddling the equator, Kenya maintains a relatively consistent climate all year long. While the August high of 85 degrees may seem like a cool summer to some, the intense humidity keeps it hot all year-long, especially for the elephants at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Keeping cool is a top priority for the elephants in the Sheldrick herd, many of whom weigh nearly 12,000 pounds. One of these elephants is Oltaiyoni, a six-year-old elephant who was rescued in 2013. The deteriorating young orphan had been hanging around the Tsavo West lodge for a number of days when she was found by local rangers and brought to the Sheldrick nursery.

Although she was shy and fearful of humans upon her arrival, once she settled in to the Sheldrick lifestyle, the scared baby elephant started to take milk and socialize. As her comfort with the herd and caretakers grew, so too did her friendship with the orphan Barsilinga. Today, Olyaitoni is a thriving member of the Sheldrick herd. You can watch her rescue in action below.

Oltaiyoni is named after a small tributary running into the Ziwani swamps near the spot where she was rescued, and she is the subject of our August Print of the Month, “Mud Bath.” This sweet portrait captures Oltaiyoni splashing herself with mud to keep cool and to protect her sensitive skin from the sun and insects.

This month, you can buy “Mud Bath” for 15% off while still supporting the fantastic work at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, making this a perfect opportunity to share your appreciation for the work of one of our partner organizations from the comfort of your home.

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