On Tuesday 29th June, we had the honour of welcoming Lupita Nyong'o along to the DSWT’s Nairobi Orphanage as part of her return visit to her native Kenya. Ms. Nyong'o is an Academy Award winning actress who won critical acclaim for the film 12 Years a Slave, and has been touring Kenya to help raise awareness of the ivory poaching crisis with conservation organization WildAid. Ms. Nyong’o spent time in the Amboseli National Park, where the DSWT operates a Mobile Veterinary Team offering immediate assistance to injured elephants, before visiting the Nursery, meeting Angela Sheldrick and our team of incredible keepers led by Edwin Lusichi.
'When you know more, it compels you to do more', speaking at a press conference in Nairobi on Tuesday, the actress spoke of her experience having visited the orphanage, ' I visited The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the elephant orphanage here in Nairobi and I had the joy of meeting baby elephants as they barged their way towards me for a morning feed. But the exuberant experience was mixed with a deep sadness of knowing that so many of them have lost their families to poachers. When you report the trading, buying and smuggling of ivory you help to keep these elephant families together.’
As WildAid’s newest global elephant ambassador, Ms. Nyong'o joins a host of international icons including Jackie Chan, Yao Ming, Edward Norton, Prince William and David Beckham to help end the illegal ivory trade and poaching of elephants. We offer our sincere thanks to Lupita Nyong'o for lending her voice to elephants and helping us work to secure a future for the species. Ms. Nyongo’s address at Tuesday’s press conference can be watched here
(Image © Kristian Schmidt / courtesy of WildAid and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust)