The 'And Just Like That…' star has been a patron of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, with its renowned Orphans' Project, since 2009
Almost ten years later, on Feb. 6, the And Just Like That… star, 58, returned to the Trust in Kenya to reconnect with Ndotto, whom she had been fostering through donations since he was abandoned as a newborn.
"I was at the mud bath, and I didn't realize that the tall, handsome bull standing behind me was Ndotto!" Davis tells PEOPLE exclusively. "Then he lifted his trunk to say hello, and I realized the tiny baby had grown into a majestic bull elephant. I was so amazed and impressed by him. And he still has his sweet personality."
Now beginning his transition to living in the wild, Ndotto is among more than 320 orphaned elephants that the Trust's Orphans' Project has successfully rescued.
"I will never forget when I first met Ndotto," Davis adds. "He was the smallest baby elephant ever rescued by the Sheldrick Trust. And he was so sweet and adorable!"
Born premature, Ndotto was found with a fresh umbilical cord among the sheep and goats of a surprised Samburu tribesman. Unable to be reunited with his herd, Ndotto was brought to the Trust's Nairobi Nursery, where a dedicated team of keepers nurtured him day and night, even sleeping in his stable to provide comfort and milk. Davis began fostering Ndotto the day she met him and has continued to follow his journey through the SWT Orphans' Project monthly updates.
At age 3, Ndotto graduated to the Trust's Voi Reintegration Unit, where the rescued elephants stay with their keepers during the day and return to the safety of their stockades in the evening. As they grow older and more independent, they are weaned off milk and spend more time away from their keepers.
The reintegration process can take up to a decade and happens at an elephant's chosen pace until they are re-wilded into Tsavo East National Park, Kenya's largest national park and a fully protected habitat known for its thriving elephant populations.
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a global leader in elephant conservation and one of Africa's most established wildlife charities. Founded in 1977 by Dame Daphne Sheldrick, it is best known for its ground-breaking work rescuing orphaned elephants and rhinos and reintegrating them back into the wild. It has successfully raised more than 320 orphaned elephants through its Orphans' Project, and its habitat preservation programs and anti-poaching, aerial surveillance, and mobile veterinary Units have helped secure a future for all manner of wildlife.
With a $50 annual donation, you can foster an orphaned elephant like Ndotto in the Trust's care. If you are interested in helping, donate to the Trust here.
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Read the original article on People.