Sweet Sally's Story

On a tiny Ranch near Nanyuki called “Sweetwaters” a baby elephant was born in February 2001. She and her mother were amongst others moved to Meru National Park because their home Sweet Waters ranch was obviously too small an environment for them, and every time they stepped off the ranch they were in direct conflict with human settlement and cultivation. Along with 52 other elephants it was decided by The Kenya Wildlife Services to relocate this group to Meru National Park. This was a successful mission, but for Sweet Sally’s mother who made the long journey with her calf the journey and new environment proved too much for her and she was so traumatized on arrival that she just ran and ran, leaving the calf behind. Failure to locate her meant that the calf had to be treated as an orphan, and on the 25th July 2001 she was flown to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Elephant Nursery in Nairobi National Park, there to join three other infant elephant orphans and be nurtured and reared through the fragile first year of infancy. She is called ‘Sally’ to honour the memory of brave Sally Dunne, who died of cancer May 2001, and ‘Sweet’ to identify her origin.

Sweet Sally's Story

Although on arrival Sweet Sally was a very sad little elephant, with the haunting memory of her mother and family all too clear, she settled in well, mothered and protected by Mulika.

She grew into a fine elephant and moved to Tsavo where for a long time she was protected by Aitong.
Now Sweet Sally roams the vast wild plains of Tsavo in Emily's herd with her own wild first born baby Safi, and in this way Sally Dunne’s wishes have come true. Through this Elephant she will always be in the place she loved the most in life.

Adopt Sweet Sally for yourself or as a gift.

Adopt Sweet Sally for yourself or as a gift.

Current Age

23 years old



Rescued date

25 July 2001

Rescue Location

Laikipia, Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Date of Birth (approximate)

1 February 2001

Reason Orphaned

Orphaned during relocation

Age at Rescue

5 months old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Sweet Sally'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 Sweet Sally the gift of life by adopting today.

Sweet Sally's Calves

Meet Sweet Sally's wild born offspring.



Safia is always looking to find his next adventure, whether it`s climbing rocks or trying to get into the stockade water trough like the older orphans. If there is an element of danger, it`s all the better! A born water baby, Safi loves swimming, especially in the water holes. His nannies are Seraah and Thoma. Read more

Latest updates featuring Sweet Sally

News on Emily's growing herd

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Ex Orphan Emily successfully navigates her herd through the drought of 2017

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Born Wild - Ex Orphan Thoma Has a Baby

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Sweet Sally's latest photos

Emma Safi and Sweet Sally

Sweet Sally scratching on a rock

Sweet Sally arrives at the stocakdes with Safi

Sweet Sally with Safi

Sweet Sally Safi Laikipia and Seraa

Sweet Sally and Safi

Sweet Sally and Safi

Sweet Sally's baby Safi