It hadn't occurred to me that TriplePundit might need a mascot until our mascot chose us while my wife and I honeymooned in Kenya.
Last month we visited the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage on the outskirts of Nairobi. It was dusk and the rescued baby elephants rushed into the orphanage after spending the day in the wilds of Nairobi National Park. They were tired and eager to be bottle-fed before heading to sleep.
As my wife walked into one of the sleeping pens, she felt something graze her arm. She jumped a little, before realizing it was a baby elephant trunk. A 2-year-old orphan had reached out to hold her hand.
On Valentine's Day last year, the Sheldrick orphanage was alerted to a year-old elephant struggling to survive an infected wound after being caught in a poacher's snare. The wound went all the way through the joint, compromising the survival of the baby in the orphanage.
Because his mother was still alive, and by his side, rescuers attempted to treat the wound and leave him with his family.
"Our anti-poaching teams monitored their movements throughout this time checking on his progress, but as the weeks passed it became apparent that his condition was deteriorating. His mother was forced to drop out from their herd, unable to walk any distance in search of food, and the two of them cut a lonely sight as she remained by the side of her ailing calf, who was becoming increasingly more immobile with each new day," the Sheldrick report on Mwashoti explains.
"His mother was struggling, too. Her condition was deteriorating as a result of being forced to remain close to water with little food available, inhibited because of her stricken calf."
The difficult decision was made to take Mwashoti out of the wild and into the elephant nursery in Nairobi to fully rehabilitate him.
"On arrival at the nursery he was placed in a pen next to another orphan called Sirimon, and given a bottle of milk which he was reluctant to take at first," the orphanage says. "Fresh greens were placed in his stockade and a keeper was on duty with him throughout the night. By next morning he was already passionate about his milk bottle, and sucking the keeper’s fingers. He is an extremely loving little calf, and despite what humans have inflicted on him, all but severing his leg and robbing him of his mother in an effort to save his life, it was as if he understood the situation and made things easier for us."
In addition to being impossibly cute, Mwashoti represents the kind of success story that we like to tell at TriplePundit. In the face of the worst side of human nature, caring people with a long-term vision of sustainability, conservation and love have made certain that this little guy will have a full recovery and return to the wild to keep a wild ecosystem in balance. In fact, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is one of the most successful elephant rescue and rehabilitation centers in the world. They have successfully hand-raised more than 150 infant elephants and effectively reintegrated them back into wild herds.
These days, with sustainable thinking becoming more and more mainstream, the stories we tell at TriplePundit generally get more and more optimistic. The companies and people we work with have become more advanced in their systemic thinking and, we believe, are heading toward a more sustainable future. But it's easy to forget that there's a long way to go. We hope our little (well, soon to be very big) friend Mwashoti inspires us to remember why we do what we do -- we hope he inspires you too!
Nick Aster is the founder of TriplePundit.
TriplePundit.com has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place. It was acquired in 2017 by 3BLMedia, the leading news distribution and content marketing company focused on niche topics including sustainability, health, energy, education, philanthropy, community and other social and environmental topics.
Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He also worked for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.
Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.