Bondeni is a cheeky little bull, whose name adorns our Elephant Orange Cocoa Gin Miniatures. 15% of profits from these baby bottles go to our partner foundation Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) supporting their mission to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned elephants.
Bodeni was rescued in February 2019. After reports of a newborn elephant wandering into a village bordering the Chyulu Hills, Kenya, the SWT Umani Springs Keepers, Kenze De-Snaring Team, and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers quickly responded to rescue the little orphan. Upon arrival at the scene, the team were met by an overwhelmed little newborn, with lacerations covering his feet seemingly from the lava fields he had walked across nearby.
Named after the area to which he was found, little Bondeni was taken to the Kaluku Field HQ, home to the neonate unit that would provide him with the specialised care he needed. Being so young, Bondeni was quick to embrace his new family and his first stage of his rehabilitation was swift. Soon, he was ready to benefit from the mentorship of older elephants and with that the SWT moved him, alongside his two girl friends, Kindani & Kinyei (also at the Kaluku Field HQ) to the SWT Nairobi Nursery.
Since arriving at the Nursery, he is continually doted upon by the other orphans, who are accepting of his need to expel his bags of energy through a variety of playful escapades. He specifically loves to chase and tackle any moving target. With each day he is growing and developing, while the SWT Keepers are gradually teaching him manners to gently establish boundaries that benefit a growing elephant. Bondeni will be in the SWT’s care for many years to come, eventually graduating to one of the Reintegration Units, where he will ultimately make his way back to the wild. The long-term goal for all the orphans the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust rescues is to assist them back to a wild, to reclaim their birth right.
Photo and text credit: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust