Update on Sheldrick Trust

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Nov 7th, 2007, 05:34 PM
  #1
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Update on Sheldrick Trust

Since this has been such a worrisome issue, I hope Fodors will allow the note below from the Trust for all to see.


From Sheldrick Trust monthly update:

Early on in the month, the Kenya Wildlife Service arbitrarily and without prior discussion or warning, and also without the authority of their Trustees, suddenly decided to impose the normal $40 Entrance Fee per visit to Nairobi National Park at the Service Entrance that provides access to our premises. This instantly resulted in chaos and confusion for the visiting public. Visitors who turned up as usual specifically just to see the elephants during our one public viewing hour a day, expecting just to put a donation of K. Shs. 300/- in the Orphans’ Donation Box, turned away, irate, and refusing to pay; others threatened to boycott Kenya as a tourist destination, and tell all their friends to do the same, and many more left bitterly disappointed, not having come prepared, and therefore unable to pay.

Since Rangers at the Service Entrance are not permitted to accept cash, after the first day the visitors were told to return to the Main Gate in order to load their Smart Cards and pay there even though the Gate did not have the capacity to process the numbers and still enable access to the elephants for the one open hour. Even our own personal guests and the Vets were not spared!

No amount of discussion between us and the KWS officers concerned with this implementation was successful in persuading them to rethink what was turning into an appalling Public Relations blunder since by now the Tour Operators were also up in arms.

Since the situation was becoming completely out of control, eventually it had to be taken to a higher level, and this has resulted in the establishment by the KWS Trustees of a panel to investigate the matter and come up with a workable and fair solution, allowing forward planning and advance warning to the public and also taking into account that the Trust has to raise the funding to raise the elephants, who are Keeper dependent for at least l0 years of life.

Meanwhile, of course, our visitor numbers have plummeted, falling by at least two thirds, with only the very intrepid customers making the journey. By extension, so has our working revenue. Hence, for us as an organization, it has been an extremely difficult month.

Perhaps however, the most startling discovery of all has been that the Kenya Wildlife Service, who live just next door to us, are not as well informed about the work of the Trust and what it has contributed in terms of support and conserva-tion, than the general public both here and overseas! That they also appear to not appreciate the contribution of the orphaned elephants to Kenya’s conservation reputation and their immense public relations value through the international exposure they have generated, has also shocked us. Through them, the global public have a much better understanding of their species, so they have been amazing little ambassadors for their kind that has impacted on management decisions made further afield.

May we take this opportunity to thank our many friends and supporters for their empathy and the protests they have made on our behalf. We hope for a just solution.

JanGoss is offline  
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Nov 7th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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Very interesting, Jan. Thanks for posting this.
Leely is offline  
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Nov 8th, 2007, 04:49 AM
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Thanks Jan for update.

Maybe reasonable minds will............. be reasonable!
sandi is offline  
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Nov 8th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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Jan, thank you for your update. "Appalling" does not begin to describe the situation. What can we do? I am so worried about the innocent animals that the Trust is providing for. I planned a trip next fall, 2008, specifically indicating I had to have the time to go visit my two adoptees. I hope the Sheldrick Trust is still in business, receving visitors and more importantly -- contributions. Please continue to update us and give us input on how to help.Cc
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Nov 8th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Thank you for posting. KWS needs to embrace some reason.
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Nov 8th, 2007, 04:47 PM
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Thank you all for your concerned comments.

For the present time the best way to help the Trust is to keep adopting the orphans and, if you can afford to, send a donation via their website It is secure and safe). The cost of raising these babies is extremely high with food, milk, keepers, veterinary care, charter flights to get from where they are found to Nairobi and so many other costs.

What they need right now until decisions have been made with KWS is cash fluidity so any donations we can make will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all for caring.
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Nov 9th, 2007, 04:20 AM
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What a great idea for a Christmas gift....instead of buying lots of stuff for people who don't really need anything, give them an elephant! (I mean adopt one for them of course.)
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Nov 9th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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We've been adopting Makena for Christmas for a few years now...
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Nov 9th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Thanks for the update, Jan. Let's hope they come to some agreeable solution.
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Nov 9th, 2007, 10:50 AM
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Jan, thanks for the update.
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Nov 11th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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I just heard from a lady who recently returned from Kenya. She had an afternoon free in Nairobi and I suggested she hook up with our favorite guide there, Kennedy. They planned to meet at Sheldrick's, where her tour company was going. From there, they were going to the KWS Safari Walk. Little did they know that KWS had instituted their new rules regarding payment of the fees. The tour company had paid for their group's entry to Sheldrick's. However, when Kennedy arrived and picked up the travelers to continue on with him, the guards stopped them on the way out and accused them of not paying. They had armed guards with them on their way back in to try to find Pollman's and get the paperwork to show that they had paid. They ran across a Pollman's van, who radioed back and finally got the paperwork. However, Kennedy had to pay for himself AND his van! They tipped him well, but I don't know if it covered his extrea fees. Does KWS really think that this kind of incident will help their image with tourists?! Armed guards?!
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Nov 15th, 2007, 07:06 AM
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It appears there is good news to report.

Several members of my family are foster parents to some of the elephants at Sheldrick. We receive monthly updates, and below is a quote from the one just received today (dated 11/15/2007 1:32:33 AM):

"A sudden decision made by the Kenya Wildlife Service to impose a $40 entrance Fee at the Service Entrance that provides access to our premises, without discussion or warning, came as an unwelcome shock this month, impacting negatively on our mud-wallow guests and by extension, our working revenues, cutting donations for the orphans dramatically. However, after a month, public pressure forced the authorities to rescind this fee until a more workable solution could be found, following discussion with all parties involved."

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Nov 15th, 2007, 10:10 AM
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Good news.
A reprieve for the time being.
Hopefully, permanent or something that is more reasonable will be arrived at.

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Nov 15th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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I am inspired to help. I have decided to adopt some elephants as Christmas presents for relatives that I know would appreciate it. I plan to put the adoption in their name and have them get the updates, etc.
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