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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Inge Berger

Posted 19 May 2018

Dear family Sheldrick,

with deep sadness we take note of the death of Daphne Sheldrick today.
My husband and I lived in Nairobi from 2005 to 2011 and are still connected to Kenya through the orphanage. We had a great admiration for Daphne, who supported one of the most outstanding projects in the world with a lot of love and dedication. This admiration goes beyond her death.
We extend our condolences to the family and send our warmest greetings.

Sas Greenspan

Posted 19 May 2018

I am an ex Kenya girlof 73yrs,
Still speaking Swahili to the Kenya people.
Was in Nairobi last year in June and once again went to the Elephant Orphanage.
This was my second visit to the Sheldrick orphanage.

I am in Awe of the wonderful work Daphne did for the preservation of the baby elephants. Watching the orphaned elephants taken care of by wonderful kind and caring rangers ……
also in my heart the loss of our beautiful Rhino.
I would love to get the last book that was written by Daphne Sheldrick.
Best Wishes

Anne Harrington

Posted 19 May 2018

My deepest condolences to Angela and Dame Sheldrick’s entire family and staff especially, Edwin. I am horribly saddened by her death. Oh, how the entire world will miss her. Hugs to her elephants and rhinos as I’m sure they feel her absence. Thank you for awakening my love for elephants and rhinos.

Nancy and Stephen Lamontagne

Posted 19 May 2018

We have recently become acquainted with Daphne and the entire Sheldrick organization, having been introduced by Vickie Winters, a friend of Robert and Angela. We have since adopted Kiko (a spunky giraffe) and Sattao (one of the newest elephant orphans) and get great pleasure out of following their adventures every month. We plan to visit the Nairobi nursery next year and meet both of them.

We are so grateful for the work of Daphne and her family and encourage everyone to continue supporting them. Thank you for all that you do!

Nancy and Stephen Lamontagne Arizona, USA

Bertha Powell

Posted 19 May 2018

I first heard of Daphne when I watched a PBS miniseries called “My Wild Affair”. I admired her so much for the work she did. I began donating to the trust 3 years ago by adopting Naseku and will continue as long as I can. I hope to be able to visit Naseku and all the other elephants soon!

Christine Fox

Posted 18 May 2018

I have been a donor of the Sheldrick foundation for years. I admire Mrs Sheldrick on her selfless career of helping wild animals. I don’t know know where all of these beautiful creatures would be without the Mrs. The world has certainly lost a great human being

Julie Mirdoch

Posted 18 May 2018

I have been heartbroken since Daphne’s passing. She is truly someone to look up to – someone who you should aspire to be like. I loved reading her story and visiting the orphanage and Ithumba. As Daphne said in a video about Ithumba ‘it grips your soul’, and Kenya has done just that – gripped my soul. And that would not have been possible without me fostering my first of 12 orphans, Suguta, and learning about Dr. Dame Sheldrick. My heart goes out to everyone.

Penny Fiksel

Posted 18 May 2018

I’m so sorry to hear of Dane Daphne’s passing. The world is a sadder place without her graceful and compassionate presence. I dearly hope her work at DSWT exceeds all of her expectations moving forward for a long time.


Posted 18 May 2018

Thank you Daphne for your example of unconditional love!
Thank you for your love for the wildlife!
Nowadays You ARE the right example for people all over the world!
Thank you for your smile and kindness. So much love from Italy

Stephanie Callei

Posted 18 May 2018

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of you in the loss of your Mother.
I have had great respect for the work that she has done to help the Elephants and other animals that she rescued over the years. I visited the Sheldrick Orphanage in Kenya several years ago and was so moved by everything that she was doing. I have since adopted elephants. At the moment I have three. I will continue to support the cause that your Mother started years ago. I truly believe that when she entered her final journey that all the animals that she saved and those she couldn’t were there waiting to greet her and to thank her for all she did for them. It is wonderful that you will carry on her legacy. My heart goes out to all of you.

Helen Burton

Posted 18 May 2018

I recently read an old essay written by Daphne about the role of elephants in landscape succession, and the way she managed to meld science and compassion really moved me. It was beautiful. She was a true wildlife hero.

Stacey Christopher

Posted 18 May 2018

I am sorry for your loss and hope the memories and experiences will give comfort. The silver lining is the legacy she leaves behind, and the people that will continue to do her great work. You all are appreciated and a heartfelt thank you is sent your way.

Cara Fogarty

Posted 18 May 2018

Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s dedication and self sacrifice touched me inexplicably while I was recovering from an accident. I was previously unconcerned with environmental and wildlife issues, often wearing fur and admiring wildlife for their exoticness only. I was laying on the couch when National Geographic aired one of their features on the orphanage. Seemingly within 45 minutes my life was flipped upside down; and I was filled with compassion and love for not only the plight of these elephants, but also for the woman who committed her life to their care. Once I recovered from my injuries, I returned to college to pursue zoology, inspired by Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s story, was given the opportunity to study elephant feeding habits in Tanzania and ultimately was able to visit the orphanage in Kenya. I don’t know where I would be having never been introduced to the story of Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s life and compassion, but I do know that she has made me a more loving, considerate person with a drive to make the world a safe place for our fellow animals. Thank you, the pain of your absence will only be surpassed by the impact of your love.


Posted 18 May 2018

Thank you very much for your beautiful work Dame Daphne Sheldrick. Your legacy is very special for us.

David Wilkinson

Posted 18 May 2018

Thank you for your good work

William Perry

Posted 18 May 2018

In Honor of Dame Daphne Sheldrick and DSWT I am making this Donation on behalf of My Friends of Elephants! Her Legacy will continue as long as there are Elephant Advocates carrying on Her Love and Compassion for Kenya and Her Orphans!

Vitra Garcia

Posted 18 May 2018

Angela Sheldrick and Team,

I’m broken hearted at your loss, and the world’s loss of this great lady and inspirational human being. There are not enough words to extoll your Mum’s exceptional qualities, but you are her special angel, Angela. Your Mum is with her beloved husband and your Dad, amongst the Angels now, and I’m sure with all her beloved rescues that have passed on…

You and your entire team will have to carry on her legacy, and I know you will do an outstanding job of saving her beloved animals, and educating the world about the noble elephants and other diminishing wildlife. I don’t know where you get the courage and resolve, in the face of the growing number of sub-humans doing their best to demolish wildlife habitats and hunt them to extinction, but I pray for you and others who are fighting with all your might against this onslaught.

God bless you all… Tears in my eyes…

PS: Apologies… I thought I’d sent this weeks ago. (Message received via email)

Shubhobroto Ghosh

Posted 18 May 2018

Dear Ms Angela Sheldrick,
I am writing to express my condolences on the death of Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who has enriched us all with her pioneering work in elephants and helped us in India on several occasions to combat cruelty to elephants.
Her death leaves an empty space that will be difficult to fill. The following is the text of her letter sent to us on the occasion of an elephant polo match in India :
I send you and your staff my deepest regards for her life and hope that you will be able to carry on the good work she had carried out her whole life.
With best regards and kind wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Shubhobroto Ghosh

Nerino Dose’

Posted 17 May 2018

My prayers for Dame Daphne , she will be missed lovely lady

Cynthia Hubbard

Posted 17 May 2018

I first ‘met’ Daphne in 1978, in a magazine article that told of the rescues of Baby Elephants in Kenya, orphaned mostly by poachers, by Daphne and her husband David; of David’s sudden death in 1977; of Daphne’s founding of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust; and her commitment to continue the work they had begun together. It was just a few years since being graduated from College, so I wasn’t ‘financially fit’, but I remember thinking, “I want to send this woman some money”. So I did. I sent her $15 USD. What comes in the mail about 10 days later? A handwritten Thank You note from Daphne. As we say here in the States, “She had me from that moment.” That correspondence – that began in 1978 – continued for 40 years, ending, though I didn’t know it at the time, with a note from her November 17, 2017. In it, she was still forward-looking and optimistic, about her return to health in the fullness of time, and still so humbled by and grateful for all the prayers and good wishes from so many people around the world. I met her for real in 1999, at The Nairobi Nursery. There were only 7-SEVEN-Orphan Baby Eles. And one Baby Rhino Makosa. Daphne personally gave me a tour of the facility, and we ended up at her house, where she fixed tea for us and we sipped it, sitting on her veranda as she shared more stories. It was a magical day. I can close my eyes and in one second I am right back on her veranda, sipping tea, with this incredibly humble dynamo, enraptured by her stories and the huge missions she and The Trust were undertaking. Over the 40 years, through all the notes and letters and Thank Yous, I came to think of Daphne as a good, even dear friend, and never, ever, have I met anyone who was so totally humble despite the mountainous achievements she orchestrated back then, or those that continued to be guided by her for those next 40 incredible years. I keep trying, and I will succeed – though perhaps it will take until my first visit to The Nursery and Ithumba since her leaving – to follow her example that she talked about so often, that she said she learned from the Elephants, and from David: when life presents trouble, sadness, death, yes you mourn and grieve; but whilst doing that, you must turn to the living, begin again to look forward, turn the page and keep….living. The photo is from the Harambe Gala Dinner & Fundraiser in London 2015. My sister Nancy is on Daphne’s left. It was wonderful to see Daphne, and get to attend this very special event in her and The Trust’s honor. And again, being with her was, well, just magical.