Melania Trump feeds a baby elephant as she visits animal sanctuary in Kenya


Melania Trump was pictured feeding a baby elephant this week, as she continued her solo tour through Africa which began on Tuesday.

The first lady, 48, who has undertaken the trip without her husband, President Donald Trump, 72, visited a national park in Kenya to highlight conservation efforts on Friday morning.

The Slovenian-born former model was seen laughing after one of the baby elephants made a sudden move, nudging her and causing her to momentarily lose her footing during the tricky task. 

She fed formula milk to two of the elephants raised at at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya, before reaching out to others, patting one on the back and stroking the ear of another. 

The young elephants looked to be having the time of their lives, as their carers and Melania’s attentive bodyguards watched on. 

Dressed in safari-style tan trousers, a white shirt and knee-high boots, Melania put on a chic display in the park, where she climbed into an open-air vehicle for the safari, taking photos on her iPhone and peering through binoculars for a closer look at zebras, giraffes, impalas, rhinos and hippos bobbing in water.  

Sporting a pair of binoculars, Melania was seen gazing through the lenses to admire her surroundings.

Kenya is the third stop on Mrs Trump’s African tour, which began on Tuesday in Ghana and continued in Malawi on Thursday. 

Her first-ever visit to Africa is also her first extended solo international trip as first lady, during which she is helping to promote child welfare and education. 

Further details about her trip will likely come to light next week, when ABC News will air an exclusive sit-down interview with Melania as part of a special edition of 20/20.

According to a release issued by the network, the ‘wide-ranging interview’ with Tom Llamas, which took place during the first few days of Melania’s Africa trip, will feature as part of Being Melania: The First Lady, which is set to air on Friday, October 12 at 10pm ET.

However, it is understood that the safari was intended to help Melania learn more about steps the East African nation is taking to conserve elephants, rhinos and other wildlife.

She also saw a site where 105 tons of ivory was burned as part of an effort to discourage the trade, and signed a guest book at the site. 

Interestingly, Melania’s visit to the animal sanctuary comes just months after her husband’s administration decided to once again allow Americans to import the body parts of African elephants that have been shot for sport. 

While Trump himself slammed the practice as a ‘horror show’, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a letter on March 1 announcing that the importation of elephant trophies will now be approved on a ‘case-by-case basis’.   

Melania’s stepsons, Eric and Donald Jr, are also known to be keen trophy hunters, and have been pictured on numerous occasions posing with dead animals that they have shot during trips to Africa, including a cheetah.

Don Jr also sparked fury among animal rights activists when an image of him holding up a knife and the bloody severed tail of an elephant resurfaced, having reportedly been taken while he was on a trip to Zimbabwe in 2011. 

After the safari, Melania’s next stop was The Nest, a children’s home that primarily cares for youngsters whose parents have been incarcerated.

Children living at The Nest greeted her with singing and dancing, and it didn’t take long before the usually reserved US first lady gave in to the moment; she walked up a pathway through the home holding hands with two children, then began to sashay to the beat as she approached the building. 

She was then briefed on the children living at the house for babies, with staff explaining that some had been abandoned, while others had parents who had been incarcerated.  Melania took time to cuddle with several of the infants, looking delighted to get the chance to spent so much time with them. 

‘Thank you for what you do and taking care of them,’ Melania said, while holding a baby girl originally handed to her wrapped in a blanket bearing the logo of Be Best, the child welfare initiative she launched this year and is promoting during this week’s Africa visit.

She returned the girl and kneeled down to lift a boy from a mat and turned to face the media with him in her arms, asking, ‘Do you see the cameras?’ before cradling another baby.

The singing and dancing performance then continued outside, where Melania read a story to the same group of children who had walked up the pathway with her, before being read a story by a young a boy. After the readings, she was encircled by the singing children and danced some more. 

Following her visit to the children’s home, Melania quickly changed outfits – switching her safari-style ensemble for a billowing green and white striped dress – before meeting Kenyan first lady Margaret Kenyatta at the State House in Nairobi. 

The first ladies then headed off to take in a children’s performance at Nairobi National Theater later on Friday after enjoying an opportunity to speak in private; the mother-of-one has enjoyed private meetings with each of the first ladies in every country that she has been to thus far, often exchanging gifts with her counterparts.

Melania changed out of her safari ensemble for the evening events, opting to wear a loose-fitting yellow-and-white striped $770 Thierry Colson caftan, which she belted at the waist for a more form-fitting look. 

She then paired the dress with some flat white pumps, forgoing her favorite Manolo Blahnik heels, which she has worn on a number of occasions throughout the tour. 

The first lady got a chance to show off the look in full throughout the afternoon and evening, first while posing for pictures outside of the State House with Margaret, and then again at the theatre.

Egypt will mark her final stop on her tour of the continent which focuses on child welfare, education, tourism and conservation. 

Her visit has included promoting the work of the US Agency for International Development, whose funding Trump has twice proposed slashing by nearly a third.

But according to reports congress members have essentially ignored those requests. 

On Thursday however, a few negative feeling’s about her husband’s presidency were made clear, when Melania arrived in Malawi, where she was met by protestors who held signs reading ‘not a s**thole’ and ‘#MelaniaToo’.

Melania’s stay in Melania included a tour of a local school in the capital of Lilongwe, and she was on hand as the U.S. ambassador handed over 1.4 million books through a US-funded national reading program. 

Along the route from the school to the ambassador’s residence, a few people held up signs in protest; one woman held a sign reading #MELANIATOO, with the ‘ME’ in bold black, while a couple brandished a sign that said ‘Welcome to Malawi. #NOTAS**THOLE!’ – a reference to reports earlier this year that the president used the vulgar term to describe African nations.  

Another sign said ’69 Days Past the Deadline to Reunite Families’, in reference to the president’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy that led to the separation of thousands of children from their families as they tried to illegally cross from Mexico into the U.S. Many children remain separated from their families. 

Shortly after her arrival in Malawi, Melania’s husband took to Twitter to praise his wife, congratulating her on the success of her tour thus far.

‘Our country’s great First Lady, Melania, is doing really well in Africa,’ he wrote. ‘The people love her, and she loves them! It is a beautiful thing to see.’

The first lady left Malawi after less than 24 hours in the country, and was later seen landing at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on Thursday evening, wearing the same $1,580 Erdem bird-patterned dress.  

According to her spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, the focus of Melania’s tour, which will end in Egypt, is humanitarian efforts, specifically those funded by US government aid, and those that work to better the lives of children.

Another key purpose of her tour is to promote ‘education, healthcare, some conservation, and tourism’.

Melania is expected to return to Washington, D.C. on October 7.


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