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It's love as Saba meets Sutton at West Midland Safari Park

By Marion Brennan | Bewdley | Entertainment | Published:

Wildlife TV presenter Saba Douglas-Hamilton dropped in to meet the youngest member of the West Midland Safari Park's elephant family.

The Kenya-based elephant campaigner is in the UK to deliver a series of talks on the battle to save the elephant following a relaxation in the international ban on ivory trade.

She also argues that modern life and our reliance on new technology distances us from the natural world and leads us to doubt our own instincts, with potentially drastic consequences.

The acclaimed conservationist said: "I want people to fall in love with elephants and to become more aware of what is happening to them and, on a broader scale, to engage with the natural world."

She spoke to staff at the safari park in Bewdley about her conservation work before meeting three-year-old Sutton, the first elephant in the UK to be born using artificial insemination. She also met Sutton's mother, Five, and aunt, Latabe.

Saba, 47, shrugged off the mud and the rain to get close to the animals for a photograph. Born in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, she is the daughter of Iain Douglas-Hamilton who founded the charity Save The Elephants, which she now runs with her husband Frank Pope, a marine archaeologist and journalist.

She has presented several natural history series for the BBC, including The Secret Life of Elephants, Unknown Africa and Big Cat Diary.

As a family - the couple have three children - they also made This Wild Life, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about their lives at Elephant Watch Camp, in the Samburu National Reserve, Kenya.

The series showed what it was like to run a high-end safari camp in a remote location, with elephant bulls hustling for seedpods by the kitchen, wounded crocodiles that needed rescuing and a host of other animal characters.

Saba will be telling more stories about her life in Kenya on the UK tour.So far she has spoken at sold-out venues, although some tickets are still available for the Birmingham Town Hall gig on Wednesday, November 22.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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