In Loving Memory of Dame Daphne Sheldrick

04 June 1934 - 12 April 2018

“Daphne was a national treasure and a conservation icon. Her legacy is immeasurable and her passing will reverberate far and wide because the difference she has made for conservation in Kenya is unparalleled.”– Angela Sheldrick, Daphne Sheldrick’s Daughter and CEO of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

In her 83 years with us, Daphne touched countless lives — from generations of elephants who are thriving today through her trailblazing conservation work, to people all over the world who drew inspiration from her. She is testament to the difference that a single person can make, and her legacy lives on as we continue to protect and preserve wildlife in her memory.

Below, we invite you to share your own story of how Daphne touched your life.

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MC Noel

Posted 16 May 2018

Please accept my sincere condolences for the passing of Dame Daphne. The world was a better place for all creatures due to her profound influence. As a result of learning of the DSWT and Dame Daphne’s efforts, I include discussion of the economics of poaching (and how to fight it) in my economics lectures. Wishing Angela and the DSWT staff peace and fond memories of your beloved matriarch.

Peter Schosberg

Posted 16 May 2018

Robin and I were so very sorry to have heard of Dame Daphne’s passing away. We had the most wonderful experience in June ’13 visiting the Orphanage, meeting you, and fostering two lovely babies, which we continue to do. It was the last day of our two week safari to Kenya and Tanzania, and spending time with you and the babies was an experience we’ll cherish forever, and sealed our love for all animals, particularly elephants. It couldn’t have been a better finale to a wonderful bucket list trip to Africa. We so much appreciate your mom and dad’s foresight and dedication to the rescue and preservation of these wonderful, sensitive, and intelligent animals. We wish you continued success with DSWT, and you can count on our ongoing support. When our two babies, SONJE and TUNDANI, are adopted by new elephant families and return to the bush, please let us know and we’ll be happy to support two new orphans. Thank you for the regular news, updates, and beautiful watercolors of our two babies.

Mary Ellen Wexler

Posted 16 May 2018

And so another library closes! Sad to hear of her passing, but her memory will live on and inspire countless generations to come. And, the elephants will remember, carrying her good will wherever they go. Bless you all.


Posted 16 May 2018

I would send my sincere condolences, let her legacy live on.
Thank you
With love
Marina Vesela

Morag McMillan

Posted 16 May 2018

As a foster parent for over 20 years I was saddened to learn of the death of Dame Daphne Sheldrick. On a visit to Voi many years ago I was lucky enough to be there at the same time she was and had a brief chat with her. It was a privilege. Please pass on my sincere condolences to the family.

Deborah Durham

Posted 16 May 2018

My condolences to the entire DWST family. Daphne’s passing has affected all those who value nature and wish to make a difference in protecting these beautiful animals who are at such risk. I am a staunch supporter and foster Shukuru, which I believe means, “I am grateful”. I am truly grateful for all your work and that you’ve made such a difference in my life through your work. Best wishes to you all…

Diane Bourdeau

Posted 16 May 2018

For me there is such a draw towards elephants because they are so intelligent and so caring of humans who spend years with them when they have been traumatized. My feelings were deeply embedded in me when I went to Kenya and Tanzania some years ago. Pene Hollingsworth, our guide, told me about what you have been doing and I have been donating since, currently Kamok and Murit. I was so saddened to hear of Daphne Sheldrick’s passing – a very special and exceptional person. It is a wonderful thing that Angela has the experience to take over trying to fill her mother’s shoes. It seems hard to match words to express how I feel. Wishing you all good things and with love, Diane

Vitra Garcia

Posted 16 May 2018

Dame Daphne Sheldrick was a champion of champions for the majestic elephants, rhinos, and other wildlife. I’m honored to be amongst the thousands whose lives she touched, when I “discovered” years ago this amazing Trust set up in her noble husband’s name, I “adopted” some of the orphans. I live in Miami, and don’t have a lot to give, but gave what I could.

I’m sure her wonderful daughter, Angela, will carry on her Mother’s inspirational life’s work, huge heart, practical attitude in deal with the challenges they’ll face in the years ahead.

Rest In Peace, great lady, and Angels sing thee to thy rest…

Les Churchman

Posted 16 May 2018

Total care and dedication for a helpless animal is the legacy of Daphne Sheldrick. Most of us leave a small legacy of memories and objects to our immediate family. Daphne Sheldrick gave the world so much more. She cared for young elephants in distress and created the ethos where other people dedicated themselves too. She did this through personal commitment and acted without courting publicity or attention. The work was the important thing for Daphne Sheldrick.

It is strange to say that I will miss someone I never knew. But I will. That is the measure of how Daphne Sheldrick’s life and work. I am sad at her passing but thankful that someone like her decided to act to help one elephant at a time over and over again.

A truly exceptional lady!

L. Nelson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted 16 May 2018

I noticed a DSWT book in a bookstore long before the internet and have been in awe of her love and devotion ever since, even though I never met her.

Dame Daphne Sheldrick is now reunited with her husband, David, after a lifelong passion and forming a legacy in honour of his namesake. What a wonderful reunion that must have been!

The world has lost a very unique and precious lady who worked tirelessly, never once for her own glory, but only to save orphans in her part of the world. She is the epitome of the phrase, “Lift Where You Stand.”

Thank you Daphne.

Sandrine Cadel

Posted 16 May 2018

All my condolences for the family. I am very sad about this. I hope that all this energy and love given to the elephants and the wild life will never be extinguished and will grow in her memory.

Christina Platou

Posted 16 May 2018

Dame Daphne Sheldrick has done an enormous amount of good for elephants and other animals. She will be very much missed but her wonderful orphanage will live on.
I have had the honour of meeting with Dame Daphne twice and she was very gracious and welcoming. The second time was i February 2016.
The society that I am the chair person of has donated money to the orphanage since 1989 and we will continue to do so.
I am sure that Dame Daphne will rest in peace.

Eva Mathur

Posted 16 May 2018

Dame Daphne Sheldrick:
Your foot prints will stay with us for ever. As a source of inspiration and learning. To make us humble towards nature. Thank you.
Eva Mathur and “my” elephant Malkia

Honorable Immaculate Jooooolia

Posted 16 May 2018

What a faaaaaabulas idea to request on-line messageeeees.

Just thanking God for sending Daphne to save whatever elephants, and, other animals, that she possibly could. Such dedication is actually a huge scarcity these days. Too much time is being consumed in useless projects.

It is really sad that our Daphne had to encounter her own health problems, but, at least this heavy load, will be banished now. It must have been a fun life engaging closely with elephants. The book is going to be an even best-seller than the Bible. Watch out.

In case Daphne has not received a Nobel Prize for Animal welfare, Honorable Jooooolia is giving her one, posthumously.

Can all Daphne’s remaining family, together with those amaaaaaaaaaaayzingly sincere staff at the Foundation, please be forever blessed with gazilleons of love, and, muneeeeee, to continue their exquisite crusade xxx

Beverly Perry

Posted 16 May 2018

The world of Wildlife Conservation has lost a truly remarkable woman who lived a remarkable life. She touched so many and we are all grieving but none more so than her family, close friends and colleagues at the Trust. We will all miss her deeply, but I am comforted that her legacy will continue in very safe, strong hands. She was my inspiration, she opened my eyes, lead me to who I am today and life’s path I am now walking, and for this I will be forever grateful.
Our loss is heavens gain.

Gerda Braun/ Germany

Posted 16 May 2018

Sehr geehrte Angela Sheldrick,

ich möchte Ihnen mein Beileid zum Tode Ihrer Mutter aussprechen.
Sie war eine wundervolle Frau. Ihre Arbeit hat mir sehr gefallen . Ich werde weiterhin für mein Patenkind “Rapa” spenden. Ihnen möchte ich auf diesem Wege einmal für die wundervollen gemalten Bilder von Elefanten danken.

Alles Gute und weiterhin viel Kraft für Ihre Arbeit

wünscht Gerda Braun

Lindsy Van Gelder

Posted 16 May 2018

The elephant families have enriched my human family; after fostering a baby myself, I let my granddaughter pick an elephant to foster, too, and the experience of reading the newsletters together and talking about “our”elephants (and dreaming of visiting them someday in Kenya) has been a lovely bond. The horrific plight of poached elephants and other creatures is one of the tragedies of our modern world. Daphne’s work was an inspiration, making a better life for elephants and showing humans that out of darkness comes light.

jane finch

Posted 16 May 2018

My family are so sorry about your very sad loss, not only to you but to the whole animal world. If only everybody cared like your mother did, the world would be a better place. Her work inspired me to campaign In England for the very precious elephants and am so pleased that her legacy is in safe hands. we wish you well, the Finch Family

Eileen feldman

Posted 16 May 2018

I am saddened by the loss of this amazing person. Daphne dedicated her life to protecting wild life. I was inspired by her
I have fostered Mteto and will do so again
May Daphne Rest In Peace knowing her work has done so much for animals in need

Ceri McKenna

Posted 16 May 2018

I was just so sad to hear about Dame Daphne’s passing. I visited the orphanage just once a few years ago, but was so moved by what it was doing for elephant conservation, I have planned to return again this September.

I read Daphne’s book “Love, Life and Elephants – a Love Story” and have been so deeply touched by not only Daphne’s incredible work in Kenya, but her amazing and entertaining storey telling. Her narrative is such that one can only feel that I am one of Daphne’s friends. It’s so honestly written and with such humour and humility, I would recommend anyone to read her story – and I have bought the book as gifts for many friends. Rest in Peace Dame Daphne Sheldrick. x