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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Ray Lorenson

Posted 16 May 2018

I have visited Kenya twice in the past and visited the orphanage both times. Another visit is planned in August and the orphanage was one of the first places on the itinerary for this visit. Why? Because the work done by the orphanage is so central to the conservation of elephants and other African wildlife. Dame Daphne was the driving force behind the work of the orphanage. She will be greatly missed, but I know her legacy will live on through the continued work of the dedicated people at the orphanage.

Linda Allan

Posted 16 May 2018

I was deeply saddened to learn of Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s death. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the wonderful caretakers that have helped her to fullfil her vision and her mission to save Kenya’s elephants and other endangered wildlife. Quite simply she was my hero. The world is a better place because of her actions. I am heartened to know that her daughter is willing and will very capably continue her program to save Kenya’s elephants and other wildlife. Rest in Peace Dame Sheldrick knowing that your life was well lived.

Aaron Hoffer

Posted 16 May 2018

Thank you so much for all you have made happen in your life with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. What you created, which will be your undying legacy, gives me hope that positive, compassionate change can still happen in this world that sometimes seems very dark.

Madonna Walker

Posted 16 May 2018

I have had the opportunity to visit the sanctuary twice. What a wonderful place to visit and know that these baby orphans are so well taken care of. I have been able to be out when the babies come out to play and have been splattered with mud and given them love.

Dame Sheldrick and David have done an unbelievable job in saving and protecting and sometimes returning to the wild these majestic animals. I’m so happy to know that the sanctuary will continue to do amazing work. Thank you. And give Arruba a hug for me. I am fostering her.

Elizabeth Stopp

Posted 16 May 2018

Words fail me, Daphne Sheldrick, one in a million. Thank you
for everything. Your book Unsung Heroes will be on my bookshelf . This message comes with love and affection from myself and Enkesha.

Jill B.

Posted 16 May 2018

Daphne was a hero to me. She will always be in my heart. She left this world better than she found it which is the definition of a successful life,
God bless her.

Margaret O'Neil

Posted 16 May 2018

Dame Daphne,
Thank you for your work with David, realizing so long ago that we need to care for all sentient beings, and figuring out how to feed, shelter and care for elephants in particular. Thank you Angela for continuing the work.
You all have changed my life. Saved my life. Given me hope for our planet.
Dance with the stars lovely woman

Laurent Dingli

Posted 16 May 2018

Dear Daphne, your life will always be an example to me. You are the kind of human being who gives me the strenght to go on when I doubt and feel desperate. You can not die and will always be present in my gratefull thoughts. Laurent

Colleen McMullen

Posted 16 May 2018

Not only Kenya, but Africa and the whole world was blessed immeasurably by the life of such a remarkable woman – a devoted mother who brought everyone – not just her human family – within the circle of her fierce love. I can only imagine what a profound role model she was to her children and all the people who have worked right alongside her to help save so many orphans and extend the reach of human compassion no matter the species. Her children and grandchildren must surely feel her loss most keenly. As difficult as it is to carry on without her, I have faith that her family as well as the Trust and its supporters will find a way to continue her and David’s vision of a world where elephants and other animals are recognized as deserving of their own space on this planet as home for us all. Mother Earth had no finer advocate for the sacredness of all life, but from what I know of her I believe she would not want to us to despair – rather just rise up and get on with it. I know she will continue to be a role model for me in making choices about serving this precious gift of life. I recall something that was said about an American conservation advocate – which certainly also applies to Dame Daphne – “There is no end to the good that this woman has done.” May it be so.

Mare Heron Hake

Posted 16 May 2018

I’m so grateful for the chance to do something meaningful for an elephant. I love them all, and I grieve for their hardships, and Dame Daphne has offered not only a clear path to help them but to help those, like myself, who would remain powerless and isolated otherwise. Her courage and stamina have touched the entire world. Never doubt it.

It was my dream to someday travel to your country, to see and hear your work for myself. Perhaps I still can, someday. But until then, thank you all, everyday, for what you’ve done and continue to do.

Mimi James

Posted 16 May 2018

In our troubling world of today, it saddens me when a wonderful person like Daphne is taken away from us. I wanted so much to meet her and her wonderful staff at the orphanage, but age caught up with me and with God’s blessing I will met her one day.

Carolyn Sarnes

Posted 16 May 2018

Dear Angela and family and all of you working at DSWT,

the earth and elephants of Kenia have lost an adorable heart. Dr. Dame Daphne.
We wish her to rest in peace in heaven of her elephants.
We always will keep in contact with you. Thank you for keeping her work forever alive! We are sure that you will find your own way to continue her work and dreams.
Carolyn and family

Nora Stern

Posted 16 May 2018

Dear Angela and DSWT family,

I was very saddened to learn of your mother’s passing. What an amazing person she was and what a remarkable life. As with your father, she touched so many lives for the good and leaves such a wonderful legacy. She will be greatly missed. We are all remembering and celebrating her.


Nora Stern

Carol Iaquinto

Posted 16 May 2018

I am sorry to hear of Dame Daphne’s passing she was truly an inspiration to us all and I will continue to support her work as long as I am able to.

May she rest in peace.

Irene Taylor

Posted 16 May 2018

My husband and I have travelled to Kenya many times, and whenever possible, we would visit the Elephant Orphanage to see our foster babies. We were thrilled to bits to see the elephants, rhinos and their loving keepers, but were always a little disappointed because we never did get a glimpse of Daphne.
I wanted to tell her that she changed my life. She was such an inspiration because of her compassion, determination and dedication to all animals, but especially elephants.
She will never know what an impact she had in saving a species, but she must have been comforted in the knowledge that Angela has taken on the monumental task.
Elephants, and everyone who cares about them, are mourning this loss.

Melanie Cameron

Posted 16 May 2018

Sincere condolences to Daphne’s family, friends, colleagues & the 4 legged babies who will all miss her terribly. I’m not sure what to say just that she was and will continue to be an inspiration to many thousands of people around the world and above all from the bottom of my heart THANKYOU Daphne for all that you have done & you & your beloved husband’s organisation will continue to do to save the innocent four legged souls in Africa. You are a legend & will continue to be through your legacy of the DSWT. God Bless.

Lynn Bateup

Posted 16 May 2018

Dear Angela Myself and my partner Alex would like to say how sorry we are to hear about your mothers passing, we send our condolences to you and your family. Such a wonderful and amazing lady will never be forgotten for all the hard work, love and care she devoted to all the elephants and other wildlife in her care over the years. We would like to thank you and all your caring and hardworking staff/helpers for carrying on the foundation and her legacy. Love and Best Wishes to you all

Libby Appel

Posted 16 May 2018

Over a dozen years ago, my son gave me the gift of fostering a baby elephant with DSWT. From the first moment I read the keepers diary and Daphne’s reportage, I was completely captured. I gave the gift of fostering to several of my friends and to this day I myself foster 9 elephants. Daphne was undoubtedly the inspiration for my passion for elephants. I watched all the videos about the trust and greedily read Daphne’s every word each month. She was truly a monumental, visionary figure in wildlife care. I know her family will carry on beautifully on this most important mission. My condolences to the family. I never met her but I truly loved her.

Birgit Kalkofen

Posted 16 May 2018

R.I.P. to my heroe.
May your legacy last long to protect those wonderful elephants.
Thank you for all you did,


Robert Pavicich

Posted 16 May 2018

I think I saw a show about Mrs Sheldrick and how a orphaned baby elephant didn’t live without her presence for five days. No one knew the bond between Mother and child was so special and needed continuous
life every day. I’m sure it broke her heart, it did mine. Very special Lady.
my Condolences on her passing. Sincerely. Bob Pavicich