Nasalot is one of the 15 orphan baby elephants rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), whose names adorn our Elephant London Dry Gin miniature bottles.. She arrived to the orphanage at around 2 – 3 months old. Her mother was poached for her ivory near Nasalot in the Turkana region, Kenya.
There are only very few surviving elephants left in the harsh lava deserts in that region, and these survivors have had to turn nocturnal due to poaching pressure in an area. So these herds are known for lawlessness, feeding only during the hours of darkness, and hiding in thorn thickets by day. On arrival to the DSWT’s orphanage, the team had great difficulty reversing Nasalot’s sleeping pattern, for she wanted to sleep during the hours of daylight, and was extremely restless all night, pacing around the stable, and refusing to settle. This was exacerbated by deep grieving for her lost family, whom she remembered clearly at her age, so psychological depression and lack of sleep took a heavy toll of Nasalot’s health in the beginning.
However, Nasalot, being the product of natural selection amongst the few survivors within a population with strong genes, turned the corner at last, and is now a healthy and strong calf, very gentle and extremely caring.
Text & photo credit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust