Mary's Story

Born in Northern Kenya in l975, and orphaned by poachers as a tiny two year old baby. She was raised kept at the Mount Kenya Safari Ranch under the care of three Keepers until the age of l2, when she was taken down to Tsavo National Park and introduced to Eleanor's family. From her first day of real freedom, Mary lived every day as though it were her last, savoring and enjoying every moment. She is a beautiful elephant with a lovely rounded face, soft brown eyes and long lashes.

Mary's Story

Eleanor was initially not very fond of Mary, probably viewing her as a threat to her Matriarchal status, since Mary was a lot older than the others in the group. From l994 Mary began to spend a lot of time away from Eleanor, often with other wild herds, and sometimes with just "Taru" of whom she has always been very fond. In December l995 she gave birth to a bull calf, whom we named "Donald" " in honor of Don Hunt, who gave her the freedom all elephants crave.

When Eleanor's unit returned to the dry season range in February l996, Mary and her baby (and Taru) were with them, but our Keepers reported that Eleanor was very possessive of the new arrival, encouraging it to suckle her, instead of Mary, and shoving Mary around every time she approached. In the end, Mary managed to repossess her calf with the help of Taru and Thomas who escorted it back to its mother. Mary then left Eleanor's unit, and has since settled into another Matriarchal unit. So Mary is truly a wild elephant now and another triumph for the Trust. She has always avoided coming back to the Elephant Night Stockades in Voi, and by now must have had a second calf born probably in 1999 and pregnant with her third.

Adopt Mary for yourself or as a gift.

Adopt Mary for yourself or as a gift.

Current Age

49 years old



Rescued date

15 October 1987

Rescue Location

Mount Kenya Region, Safari Ranch

Date of Birth (approximate)

3 March 1975

Reason Orphaned


Age at Rescue

12 years old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Mary's featured photos

Our digital adoption programme includes the following:

Personalised adoption certificate.

Monthly email update on your orphan and the project.

Monthly watercolour by Angela Sheldrick.

Access to special content; latest Keepers' Diaries, videos and photos

Give Mary the gift of life by adopting today.

Mary's Calves

Meet Mary's wild born offspring.



Donald is the first calf of Mary, an orphan now living back in the wild.

Latest updates featuring Mary

Taking the topic of elephants and ivory to Toronto, Canada

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Lissa's 4th wild born baby

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Milk Delivery!

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