As many of you know, we have been an enthusiastic supporter of Elephant Havens, a charitable organization founded in order to create an elephant nursery near Maun, Botswana. We met Boago (Bee) Poloko, one of the co-founders, in 2015 at Abu Camp, where he was the elephant handler for their captive herd of then six elephants. Bee is featured in the documentary, Naledi, which can be seen on Netflix. Bee introduced us about a year ago to Debra Stevens and Scott Jackson, a couple in Dallas who have done a heroic job in raising the resources to fund the dream of the founders of Elephant Havens. The goal of the nursery is simply to rescue orphaned elephants, provide love and nourishment to raise these little ones, and to ultimately release them back into the wild.
The orphanage is being built on 11 acres along the banks of the Thamalakane River about 20 miles NE of Maun. They have a staff of about 13 people, several of whom worked with Bee at Abu, and they all love elephants. Karen and I were thrilled to spend two days with the team at the orphanage on our recent trip to Botswana. We were able to get to know the team members, and to interface with Mmamotse, a two year old orphan who is the facility’s first resident – and she literally owns it and the hearts of anyone who meets her. Including us!
We were very excited and humbled that Mmamotse’s boma – the place where she spends her nights – was named “Grant and Karen John Boma”. To Bee, Debra and Scott – what an honor and a thrill!! Thanks so much, but Karen and I are among your most enthusiastic supporters. I had the privilege while we were there to take some drone pictures of the facility, some of which is still under construction. So in this post I want to introduce you to Mmamotse, to the Elephant Havens team and to the facility. My hope is to influence in some way both existing and potential donors to visit and support Elephant Havens on your visit to Botswana. Or you can visit their web site at http://www.elephanthavens.org and make a much needed contribution. And if you have not considered a visit to this wonderful and magical country, you must do so. Karen and I will – as often as we can.
Mmamotse is a two year old female elephant who has resided at Elephant Havens since the end of 2008. She is warm, friendly, intelligent, playful, curious, beautiful, (somewhat) cuddly and a great kisser with her trunk. She has explored pretty much every square inch of the 17 acres, and is continuously doing so. She will make a wonderful big sister to future residents as they arrive. Words are not enough to describe her. Nor are pictures – although I will include a few in this blog. One must meet and get to know this little (?) creature.
Elephant Havens Staff
The Facility from Ground Level
And from a Drone