Along with many others, I was absolutely horrified to see Melania Trump visting the elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT). Sure, the elephant orphanage is popular place for people to visit. However, it was entirely inappropriate for Melania to be allowed entry.
This has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do animal welfare and conservation. Her husband lifted the ban on importing animal trophies. Her stepsons are trophy hunters who have posed with their kills, including an elephant. How could such a person be allowed to visit?
That question remains, but it should be directed to the Kenyan government as it was its decision. DSWT did not invite Melania. They had no say in the visit. They were told to expect a VIP but not told who it would be until very close to the date. Since the government of Kenya owns all the elephants in Kenya, DSWT was not in a position to decline. And thus, she visited.
Perhaps the First Lady of Kenya, who hosted Melania’s visit, hoped to educate Melania. I’m sure the intent was good. However, given what we have seen of Melania as well as the fact that she did not publicly speak out for animal conservation, I’m also sure it fell on deaf ears.
So that’s what happened.
Thank you to Angela Sheldrick for personally contacting me to explain the situation.