This elephant will never forget meeting John Kerry

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Kerry elephant selfie US Secretary of State John Kerry takes a selfie with a baby elephant while touring the Sheldrick Center Elephant Orphanage at the Nairobi National Park on May 3, 2015 in Nairobi. The center’s Orphans’ Project hand rears elephant and rhino orphans in a rehabilitation program to help protect Kenya’s threatened animal populations struggling against poaching and loss of habitat. Kerry is visiting Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Djibouti on his trip. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Andrew Harnik

OK, so it’s time for us to talk about the elephant in the room…..and we mean literally. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a new friend on his recent trip to Kenya this past weekend, and it wasn’t the typical diplomat. This fun and friendly acquaintance was a cute and approachable (though slightly clingy) baby elephant. Best of all: they took a selfie.

Kerry’s elephant selfie happened on Sunday while he was touring Nairobi National Park’s Sheldrick Center Elephant Orphanage. Baby elephants at the center were racing for their feeding bottles as the secretary arrived.

[Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

[Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

Kerry found the gentle giant so adorable, he decided he needed to snap a selfie to remember the occasion.

[Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

[Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

It was quite a sight to see. Even the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi got in on the hype of this elephantine occasion:   

Following the selfie, Kerry took a stab at handling the bottle during feeding time. The baby elephant didn’t seem to mind.

[Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

[Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]


Eventually the secretary thought it would be best to give the other animals at the Nairobi National Park some play and said his farewells to his new, wrinkly friend. The baby elephant, however, would not be spurned so easily. Rather than allow his playtime with the secretary to be trunk-ated by his fellow animal friends, he decided to join him as he visited the ostriches and rhinos.

[Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

[Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

Looks like a life-long friendship to us.

More on Nairobi’s ‘elephant orphanage’

[Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

A baby elephant races for a feeding bottle at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi National Park in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 3, 2015. [Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

The center’s Orphans’ Project hand rears elephant and rhino orphans in a rehabilitation program to help protect Kenya’s threatened animal populations struggling against poaching and loss of habitat.

What was Kerry up to in Kenya?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks to embassy employees during a meet and greet at U.S. Embassy Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya on May 4, 2015. [Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks to embassy employees during a meet and greet at U.S. Embassy Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya on May 4, 2015. [Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department]

Kerry is visiting Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Djibouti as part of his trip to Africa. While in Nairobi, Kerry announced U.S. funding for U.N. refugee agency’s operations in Kenya. The east African country is currently struggling to provide for some 600,000 refugees.

More than half of Nairobi’s refugees are Somalis living in the straggling Dadaab complex, the world’s largest complex for refugees. It has also been the subject of intense diplomatic talks between Kenyan officials threatening to close the camp and U.S. officials insisting any such action would violate international law.

This story was compiled with information provided by The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.