Lemeki is one of the three orphaned elephants, whose names adorn 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.

Whilst on a routine patrol, The Mara Elephant Project spotted a creature bobbing along the waves of the Mara River, Kenya. And soon after realising it was a tiny baby elephant, the team braved the waters and plucked Lemeki from the swirling floods. After receiving the report, the SWT helicopter was quickly scrambled to complete the rescue.

At no more than a week old, and extremely fragile as a newborn, Lemeki’s prolonged time in the water left her dangerously vulnerable to pneumonia. A Neonate Nursery was quickly created at the Trust’s Kaluku Field Headquarters for Lemeki’s specific needs and since then has gone on to care for the most fragile orphans to come into the Sheldrick Trust’s care.

Her arrival at the Kaluku Field HQ, was shortly followed by the heart-breaking loss of SWT founder Dame Daphne Sheldrick. However little Lemeki arrived brimming with excitement, unconditional love and affection to all those around her, which brought a restorative balm and light to the team in the wake of their loss and during a time of grief. As one of the biggest personalities in the Trust’s care, she loves attention and spreads her eternal optimism to those who care for her. She has been named Queen of Kaluku.

Lemeki’s enchanting personality continues to grow as she flourishes in the care of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Whilst she currently remains at the Kaluku Field HQ, she will in time make her way to one of the Reintegration Units, one step closer to reclaiming her birth right and living a wild life.

Text & photo credit: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust