Salama is one of the 15 orphan baby elephants rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), whose names adorn our Elephant London Dry Gin miniature bottles. Salama, roughly 3 months old upon his arrival to DSWT’s orphanage, was named after the village near which he was captured. He is famous for being the only elephant in the world to have been formally “arrested” in the wild! His herd went crop-raiding and Salama paid the price, frog-marched by irate tribesmen to the nearest police station. The police called the Kenya Wildlife Service, who then called DSWT.
Salama was lucky indeed to have been rescued, for he comes from the troubled Laikipia population of refugee elephants who have fled from the North of Kenya due to poaching, and who try to eke out an existence within an area densely populated by a farming community. Consequently, these elephants are always in trouble.
Salama is tough, hardened to hardship. His strength of character is reflected in supreme confidence amongst his peers. He can also be a little “pushy” – in the Swahili language known affectionately by the Keepers as “mangaa” or in other words “mischievous”. He is also very courageous, usually the first to chase away any intruders.
Photo credits and text: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust