Elephant Orphanage

WHO WE ARE: GRI-Elephant Orphanage Project (Lusaka, and across Zambia). To Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release orphaned elephants back into the wild.

WHY WE NEED YOU: African elephants are under threat. The demand for ivory products grows strong and as a consequence thousands of elephants are slaughtered every year. When a mother elephant is shot dead for her tusks her young calf will be left behind. Without the nutrient rich milk from its mother it will perish in the wilds, starving and alone. We need your help to rescue these tragic victims of wildlife crimes, rehabilitate them and ultimately to give them a second chance for a life in the wild, where they belong.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WORK FOR OUR CHARITY: There are 40 full time staff at the Elephant Orphanage Project (split between the two facilities).

WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES: Your money will go directly towards our ongoing operational costs to support the orphaned elephants:

  • $10 / £7 will buy a 2L milk bottle for an elephant calf
  • $20 / £14 will buy a pair of leather boots for an Elephant Keeper
  • $50 / £33 will buy elephant food supplements for one week
  • $100 / £66 will cover elephant veterinary supplies for one month
  • $350 / £233 will pay for an Elephant Keeper for one month

Elephant Orphanage Project Website.

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We rescue tragically orphaned elephant calves from all over Zambia. Once stabilised they are taken to the Lilayi Elephant Nursery (in Lusaka) for their initial recovery and care. Here they are attended around-the-clock by a team of dedicated Keepers who feed them essential milk formula every three hours, sleep with them at night and walk with them into the bush every day. The Keepers become like surrogate mothers for these fragile young elephants and form a major part of their emotional recovery from their traumatic start in life. Once the calves have improved physically and emotionally they will be weaned from milk at around three years old. At the same time they are transferred to the Kafue Release Facility, located in Southern Kafue National Park, where they will begin the next steps towards a life in the wild. At the Release Facility the young elephants join an established Orphan Herd, who over time become a supportive new family. The elephants spend their days walking freely in the National Park with the supervision and protection of their cherished Keepers. Over time (many years) the elephants become increasingly naturalised and independent until they reach an age and size where they feel confident enough to leave the Orphan Herd and live amongst the wild elephant herds of Kafue National Park.

The Elephant Orphanage Project is 100% donor funded

Both the Lilayi Elephant Nursery (30 mins outside Lusaka) and the Kafue Release Facility (8 hours outside Lusaka) are open daily for public viewing of the elephants from 11:30-13:00hrs only. All viewing is distance viewing only to align with our mission to release the orphans back into the wild.

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