For The Love of Elephants
Narrated by David Suzuki for CBC’s The Nature of Things
FOR THE LOVE OF ELEPHANTS is an intimate portrait of the elephant-human bond that is formed in an elephant rehabilitation centre just outside Nairobi, Kenya. The film takes viewers inside the emotional world of its orphaned African elephants and their compassionate keepers, Edwin, Mishak, and Abdi as well as its founder Dame Daphne Sheldrick and her daughter Angela, the Trust’s manager. Through hard work, love and dedication, this expert team create a unique human-elephant family and nurture the orphaned elephants back to health.
Shot on location in Kenya last spring, this film closely observes the process by which an orphaned elephant named Sities, survives the first days of recovery after arriving at the Trust. This adorable three month old baby elephant is a recent poaching victim and is flown to the nursery, fragile and alone. Her keepers fear the trauma she experienced may be too much for such a young elephant to endure.
After being rescued, dehydration, disease, and social alienation from the herd are all sad possibilities for Sities. She must adapt, form new bonds and become part of the matriarchal system of the herd if she is to survive. The young elephants at the Trust range from merely a few weeks in age to up to two years, so the work of the Keepers is akin to parenting infants and toddlers. It’s up to Mishak the elephant whisperer to help with Sities integration, as a teacher and caregiver his role is of utmost importance to her survival.
The film explores the bond between human and elephant which runs deep at the Trust. The keepers job is intensive, requiring passion and insight into the minds and spirits of these great animals. It is also a job that comes with great rewards, the companionship of these affectionate and playful creatures, and eventually watching the orphans reach adolescence and proudly graduate to the next phase of their reintegration into the Kenyan wild.
1 hr documentary 2010, HD
Nomination – 26th GEMINI AWARDS – “Best Science, Technology, Nature, Environment or Adventure Documentary Program”. Official Selection – Planet in Focus Film Festival
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