In the fall of 2013, the Wildlife Film Festival welcomed Dame Daphne Sheldrick to Jackson Hole to accept our Outstanding Achievement Award. During Dame Daphne’s time in Jackson Hole, she shared incredible experiences, stories, and knowledge, impacting many who attended. You can see Dame Daphne’s keynote speech at the Festival below:
A volunteer at the Festival, Zach Montes later went on to work with the Sheldrick family in Kenya:
“When I approached Dame Daphne Sheldrick to have my copy of Love Life and Elephants signed at last years Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, I never expected that six months later, I’d literally be walking in her footsteps (and the much larger footprints of the elephants that constantly surround her. Thanks to the generosity of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, I was given the once in a lifetime opportunity to live and work with the venerated Sheldrick family in Kenya. For two unforgettable months, I filmed the orphaned elephants that Dame Daphne has worked so hard to rescue. After my experiences in Kenya: being splattered with mud by naughty orphans, the feeling of ten elephants gently exploring my face with their trunks, an orphaned zebra stealing my shoes, being greeted by the matriarch of the ex-orphan herd in Tsavo East National Park… I can personally attest to the tremendous success of Daphne’s dream. Her rescue project involving elephants and other threatened species in Africa is undoubtedly one of the most important contributions to wildlife conservation of our time.
I would like to personally thank you Dame Daphne Sheldrick – and wish you a very happy 80th birthday! Thank you for all you have done and all you will continue to do! The world is watching. And we are very impressed.”
On the younger end of the spectrum, Jackson Hole’s Alex French is a second grader whose passion for elephants has led him to adopt three elephants in Africa. He met Dame Daphne Sheldrick when she was here for the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival last year. Last month he shared his passion with other kids by showing this clip of his elephant Zurura at the Teton County Library.