Ivory Orphans

WHO WE ARE: The Ivory Orphans, rescuing elephant calfs who’s family have been illegally poached in Tanzania.

WHY WE NEED YOU: As poaching rises orphaned elephant calves are also on the rise, they are not ‘useful’ to poachers and are often left deeply traumatised after watching their family brutally killed. Following the success of Daphne Sheldricks and Lilayi in Zambia we hope to save as many orphans from the inevitable fate they face if left in the wild alone.


  • $350 / £233 per day for a Veterinary Salary
  • $2,500 / £1,666 per month for Veterinary Supplies
  • $5,000 / £3,333 per year for one orphans milk formula
  • $5,000 / £3,333 for one flight transfer/to rescue one orphan from the bush.


donate to wildlife conservation

Managing the health and well-being of Tanzanias Ivory Orphans

The African Wildlife Trust’s Ivory Orphans Project will rescue, rehabilitate, and reintegrate young elephants orphaned in Tanzania due to the illegal wildlife trade. Rescuing these Ivory Orphans will serve to mitigate the effects of illegal elephant poaching, while raising awareness of the severity and immediacy of what is now an elephant population crisis.

Maintaining Tanzania’s historical policy of not intervening with free-ranging wildlife, the project will target elephants that are already the victims of human interference, e.g. the orphans of illegally slaughtered elephants. During anti-poaching missions, orphaned calves are regularly observed either dead or dying after their mothers have been slaughtered, the living victims of illegal poaching. The Ivory Orphans project will address the survival of these orphans with the mission to successfully reintegrate them back into wild elephant populations.

When these animals are rescued there are critical nutritional, emotional, and medical needs to address, and the expertise of a veterinarian specialized in wildlife health is of crucial importance to the survival of orphans. The most critical period for orphans is the 72 hour window after rescue—orphans are dehydrated, malnourished, and traumatized, and often don’t survive due to the combination of these factors. Early medical intervention and supportive care is key to the success of a rescue and subsequent transport to their new home.

The goal of this initiative is to establish the orphanage as a field institute, allowing expertise from around the world to contribute to the overall health and well-being of orphans, as well as their free-ranging counterparts in Tanzania.

Our current objectives are:

-to provide a veterinarian specialized in wildlife health to oversee and manage orphan rescue, care, and rehabilitation

-to provide a sustainable supply of necessary veterinary and supportive care items, on-site and in the field

-to build an on-site clinic and laboratory facility for point of care diagnostics and treatment of orphans at the center

-to develop partnerships with institutions of higher education to broaden the scope of comprehensive research that will be used to improve the health care and management of orphans (including their nutritional, behavioral, emotional, social, and medical needs)

This initiative is in need of start-up funds to oversee the safe translocation of the first orphans, currently being held at remote sites without proper care or supervision. We anticipate this to take place over a 10 day period.

donate to wildlife conservation