This isn’t a scene from Water for Elephants… And, no Gisele Bündchen isn’t joining the circus…
The 31-year-old Brazilian supermodel, an environmental activist, recently traveled to Africa to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an elephant orphanage in Kenya.
While there, Bündchen interacted with several baby elephants, and she bonded with one of the pachyderms during feeding time by bottle feeding it.
“I feel so blessed to spend time with these gentle giants,” she wrote on her blog. “I met a baby elephant who was only two months old and had just arrived at the sanctuary. He touched my heart. He was shy, scared, and still traumatized from losing his mother. He was not ready to be playful with the other members of his adopted herd. He was so sweet, looking for a little love…”
The trip was also a learning experience for Bündchen, who used the opportunity to encourage her fans to do more to help the endangered species.
“I will never understand how someone could kill or harm an animal as beautiful and special as an elephant. We need to speak up for these animals or they will continue to be in danger.”
She learned that “in some ways elephants are not that different from humans,” in the sense that both species thrive “when we are happy, cared for and loved.”
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary strives to educate local populations in the area about the elephants and the role they play in the well-being of the ecosystem. “I will never understand how someone could kill or harm an animal as beautiful and special as an elephant,” Gisele mused.
Her advice on how to help protect these beautiful creatures? “Never buy anything made with ivory,” she wrote, and recommends visiting the orphanage’s website for more information.