Nairobi, April 14 – Renowned wildlife conservationist Daphne Sheldrick has died at the age of 83, her daughter Angela said in a statement.

“It is all very raw but I must share with you the passing of my incredible mother Daphne Sheldrick” said Angela Sheldrick.

“What an example she was to us all, and I feel blessed to have been able to call her my Mum because she was quite simply ‘one of a kind’. She was a national treasure and a conservation icon. Daphne passed away the evening of the 12th April after a long battle with breast cancer, a battle she finally lost.”

“Her legacy is immeasurable and her passing will reverberate far and wide because the difference she has made for conservation in Kenya is unparalleled.”

Born in Kenya in 1934, Daphne Sheldrick’s involvement with wildlife spanned a lifetime. She founded the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in 1977 in honour of the memory of her late husband, famous naturalist and founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park, David William Sheldrick.

The Trust is considered the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation programme in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.

“Daphne was fortunate to live long enough to preside over mud baths at Ithumba with well over 100 orphans, ex-orphans and wild friends frolicking, and be able to say to herself, ‘but for I’. What a gift she leaves us all with, as she really is a shining example of the finest of humanity,” said Angela Sheldrick