David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust | Adopting an Elephant!

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust | Adopting an Elephant!

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I have always had a deep love for elephants. I think they are incredible creatures and have so many human like qualities that make them relatable. They are the gentle giants of the african plains and graceful grazers of the asian forests. Everything about them I have always enjoyed studying from the very first elephant toy to the countless documentaries I have seen. With all that said you can imagine my excitement when I found out that on my trip to Kenya we would be stopping at The David Sheldrick Widlife Trust.

If you don’t know what that means, here’s who they are:

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Mission statement

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in wild terms when grown.

One of the main ongoing projects at the trust is their orphan project which includes rescuing and hand-rearing orphaned elephants. I couldn’t wait to get there.

What they say about the elephant orphan project:

At the heart of the DSWT’s conservation activities is the Orphans’ Project, which has achieved world-wide acclaim through its hugely successful elephant and rhino rescue and rehabilitation program. The Orphans’ Project exists to offer hope for the future of Kenya’s threatened elephant and rhino populations as they struggle against the threat of poaching for their ivory and horn, and the loss of habitat due to human population pressures and conflict, deforestation and drought.

 

To date the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has accomplished its long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo, claiming many healthy wild-born calves from former-orphaned elephants raised in our care.

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You pre-book a place beforehand and pay a small fee to go and see the elephants, usually when they get back from a walk and go to bathe. The keepers hand feed them using bottles of specially mixed milk. It’s a great sight to see and if you love elephants then you’ll be in your element. Its great to see the elephants playing around and messing about in the mud with each other and whats also great to see is the bond the keepers share with each individual animal. The keepers become their surrogate parents and are with them 24/7 feeding, walking, bathing, playing and sleeping.

SlipTiring being an Elephant

Bros

Elephants by Jack Gunns on 500px.comIMG_0097

One Man & His Elephant by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

Your given the opportunity to adopt an elephant and donate towards the upkeep of the trust. Of course I did this when I was there, it was about £30 ($50) you can obviously pay more than this if you wish. Adopting an elephant let me re-visit the trust at the end of my trip to help put young Kibo (my adopted elephant) to bed as well as help bottle feed him. It finished my trip in Kenya on a high and was great to get a real intimate personal time with the orphaned elephants who were all a lot more inquisitive once there wasn’t a crowd of people around and just as playful! You also get regular updates about your elephant even after they grow up and introduced back into the wild, I often get e-mails telling me how Kibo and the new orphans are getting on.

Adopting an elephant

I’d really recommend visiting this place and I’m sure you’ll agree seeing the amazing work they are doing to help orphaned animals all over Africa. Keep supporting this essential wildlife trust. You also see some rhino and giraffes whilst your there!

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If you’d like to see more of my travel photos from Kenya or my other photography then check my social links!

Flickr | 500px

If you’d like to keep up with my adventures and get social;

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Travel. Create, Be Nice!

Capturing 365 days a year | Photography

Capturing 365 days a year | Photography

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Whilst art & design are two of my interests I also use photography as a creative outlet. In 2012 I took the ‘365 challenge‘ dedicating everyday for a whole year to taking a picture. It was a great way to improve my skills with a camera and at the same has given me a wide variety of photographs to use as my portfolio. If you enjoy photos as much as I do go over and check it out, I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of taking up photography. Drop me a link to your own 365 if you have done one as well!

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So this year I have taken it upon myself to undergo another 365 project because I loved the last one so much, however I’m giving myself a bit more breathing space this year and not forcing myself to upload everyday. Still frequently, just not giving myself the panic of not having taken a photo before midnight everyday! I also wanted to make sure I produce concepts and pictures I’m happy with and proud to upload as there were some days in the first 365 where picking up a camera was the last thing I wanted to do. Any camera buffs interested in what I have, I use a Nikon D40 with standard 50mm f.4.5 lens as well as a zoom lens 55mm-200m f.4.5. I am currently using a Nikon D7000 which is my baby and I love teaming it with my 50mm f1.8 lens; the shallow dof and bokeh are b-e-a-utiful.

South Bank At Night

Snow Mountains

Tiger Light

 

Bio Beetle | Portfolio

Bio Beetle | Portfolio

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I’m always setting myself projects to do and to add to my ever expanding portfolio. As a result 80% of my portfolio is self-taught and motivated work but I don’t really see it as work – it’s too much fun for that!

Over the past few months I have been enjoying teaching myself some new techniques on Adobe Photoshop. I’m absolutely obsessed with watching, buying and testing out everything to do with the software. I think i’m going to look into doing a course on it. Here’s my take on a bio-mechanical insect using so so many layers and overlays. I was pretty pleased with the end result and tried out some other techniques with animals in photoshop which i’ll upload in another post; perhaps i’ll make this a regular thing and focus on the different aspects in my portfolio to give you a more in depth knowledge of the different pieces I have. Note to self: remember to keep creating!

Bio Beetle

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Photoshop

The Insect series of images I created was was a really fun set of images to produce. I wanted to create a robotic feel to the creatures using techniques I had learnt from tutorials.

I’ve always had a creative background studying graphic design at college. Then whilst at uni studying Industrial design. I’ve dabbled in web design and recently started looking at UX & UI design.

By far, my most used and loved program has been Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Why do I love Photoshop? Photoshop allows you to create anything that is in your mind. With imagination and creativity you can create images that are other-worldly. I’ve always used the program and enjoyed learning all the tools in the program. My favourite tools have to be the pen and wand tools! You can create some crazy things with just these tools. There are still so many things I want to learn. I enjoy watching tutorials or reading articles explaining the newest techniques.

When you have such a powerful tool as the Adobe suite at your disposal, you can really achieve incredible images. Graphic design is something that I have always done and will continue to do.

Creating images that could be used in marketing and advertising campaigns is something I really enjoy doing.

Unleash your creativity and invest in learning more about at www.adobe.com

If you have any queries or any information about work opportunities then message me jgunnsdesign@gmail.com . I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can!

An image inspired by Transformers created in Photoshop CS6.

Take time to doodle!

Take time to doodle!

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Being able to set aside time to just sketch something is so important for me. The enjoyment I get from just simply picking up a pencil and sketchpad is unparalleled, especially when I know it’s not being graded and isn’t for someone else! Being able to just doodle is a great way to get everything out of my head into a visual form that I can build form. Sometimes choosing the creative career path can actually be pretty draining on your creativity; so it’s great to remember that it started as a hobby and is beneficial to do things for your enjoyment as well. Loved drawing this jamming to one of my old school favourite bands. This blog is designed for me to able to release some creativity in my own little section of the internet and deliver some great content which hopefully inspires you to have a go yourself. I’m always working on a variety of projects so there will hopefully be something you find interesting here! I’ll aim to upload new content weekly and if you’d like to follow me on my social media then you can stay up to date with the newest creations from me.

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