The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. It is one of the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and also raises the orphans of other species, such as rhinos, helping with anti-poaching efforts, advocating against the ivory trade and providing medical care to injured animals in the wild.
Young elephants can be orphaned due to a number of different circumstances, including death of their parents through poaching, disease or drought. Sometimes they are separated from their herds by predators or human conflict. The baby elephant orphanage on the edge of Nairobi National Park is the first to successfully hand-rear infant elephants and rehabilitate them. Once the orphans have healed psychologically and physically, usually at around the age of two years, they are then ready for the next phase of their rehabilitation at Ithumba in Tsavo National Park. You can read more about this process on our blog.
There are 3 visiting time slots at the Nairobi orphanage each day and we recommend planning ahead to ensure you get to spend time with the orphans:11am:
Feeding time and a mud bath open to the public which includes a presentation by the head keeper and a chance to watch the elephants play and interact (entry donation $7pp)3pm:
A feeding time and mud bath which is private for one group of visitors only where you also get to interact with the orphans (donation $600-800 depending on group size)5pm:
Feeding and bedtime at the stockade, where up to 40 foster parents get to spend time with the orphans – you do need to have fostered at least one orphan between two people and bookings are essential.Fostering an Elephant
The Orphan’s Project exists through donations from individuals and organisations, particularly support provided via the Trust’s Fostering Programme. You can foster a baby elephant for yourself or as a gift at a cost of $50 per year. Select ‘your elephant’ online and receive monthly updates and drawings.