(Black & White Art Challenge by the Fremont Center for the Arts (FCA), Canon City, CO. 2014. Accepted as part of FRCQ Portfolio 2014.)
In November 2013, this tiny elephant was rescued from a deep-sided drying waterhole in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya. Luckily for her, local ranger trainees heard her distressed baby screams throughout the night. Her mother and the herd had abandoned her because she could not extract herself from the hole. The rangers contacted the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and arranged for a rescue. Ashaka is named after a watercourse in the park where she was found and rescued. No sign of Ashaka elephant’s family was seen so Ashaka was brought back to Nairobi to join other baby elephants in their elephant Nursery.
There is nothing black and white about Ashaka’s chances of survival without her rescue. For an elephant, family is all-important; a calf’s very existence depends upon its mother’s milk for the first two years of life. In Kenya, an Elephant Nursery exists nestled within Nairobi National Park under the auspices of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is overseen by Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick, whose elephant experience spans a lifetime. This pioneering organization, which works in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service offers hope for any orphaned elephant fortunate enough to be found alive. When a tiny newborn elephant is orphaned, it is often because its mother and family have been killed to serve the brutal ivory trade. The lucky ones are rescued. Every one of these orphans can look forward to a quality of life in wild terms, living free in Tsavo East National Park protected by their new extended orphaned family and friends amongst the wild herds.
All profits from the sale of this item will be donated to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in support of their work. For more information about their work or to help with their efforts, please go to: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org.
Construction: Raw-edge appliqué on black cotton using sheer fabrics, polyester batting, cotton and monofilament threads, fabric paint and ink, colored pencils.