Foster a Baby Elephant in Kenya

People and organisations across the globe have been supporting the orphaned animals at the David Sheldrick Trust, saving the equivalent of a herd of elephants over the years.

Wasin and keeper

The Orphans’ Project

The trust works in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service to protect elephants and rhinos, ensuring their survival. A team of dedicated keepers works around the clock to care for the young orphans. This intensive care is crucial for their survival as the baby elephants need to be fed every three hours. In the wild these calves rely on mother's milk for the first two years of their lives.

by Anita Ritenour

This collective effort continues to fund the trust in its work with young elephants and rhinos from all over Kenya. The orphans are rehabilitated at the orphanage in Nairobi National Park and then released back into their natural habitat. The released orphans are transferred to the Tsavo East National Park in southern Kenya, where many have gone on to breed in the wild.

Foster Care

Fostering an orphan costs as little as around R500 (50 USD) a year!  When you foster one of the animals the trust sends you photos and an in-depth profile on the orphan, as well as monthly updates on its progress throughout the year. The foster program runs online to keep costs down, keeping you informed about the latest news from the orphanage. 

by The Advocacy Project

To date the organisation has saved 150 baby elephants, orphaned through poaching, habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and drought. The orphans are named after the places they are found in, or a local tribe in the area. The funds from fostering one of these baby mammals is used directly for its care, covering the feeding costs, keepers' salaries, vet bills and running expenses at the orphanage.

by The Advocacy Project

The rescued orphans range in age from nursery babies and adolescents to older elephants like the 51-year-old Eleanor.

David Sheldrick Trust Videos

See what the rescue and care of a baby elephant involves at the trust:

Watch more videos of the Sheldrick Trust on YouTube.

The Work of the David Sheldrick Trust

This well-established wildlife trust has been around for decades, being founded in 1977 by Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick. Dame Daphne was the first person to raise an orphaned newborn African elephant and still supervises the running of the trust in Kenya today.

Keepers hand raise the young calves at the orphanage, caring for them and feeding them a milk formula developed by Dame Daphne over almost three decades. Her lifetime of work has also contributed hugely to the field of animal husbandry and the complex task of rearing elephants. Read Daphne's call to action on National Geographic.

by Jan Videren

The focus of the wildlife trust's work is on releasing the elephants back into the wild in Tsavo East National Park where they become part of free-roaming elephant populations. The gradual process of rehabilitation into the wild is said to take from 8 to 10 years. Over 130 rescued elephants have been rehabilitated and released back into the wild. 

More on the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

To foster a baby elephant or rhino visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust website.

Check out the David Sheldrick Trust on Facebook or Follow Sheldrick Wildlife on Twitter.

If you're travelling to Kenya then Nairobi is probably on your itinerary. The orphanage is open to visitors and is a real must-see in Nairobi. Over 660 people have rated the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust as an Excellent place to visit on Tripadvisor. Read about other travellers' experiences at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage on Tripadvisor.

by Amanda

For more info and amazing photos check out the National Geographic Sheldrick feature called Orphans No More.

If you liked this post, these trips cover similar ground…

Leave a Comment or Ask a Question

comments powered by Disqus

Similar & Related Blog Posts

Below you’ll find further reading and articles related or similar to this post.

Kenya’s Elephant Populations Outgrowing Parks

Kenya Tsavo Elephants by Craig R. SholleyGood news - elephant numbers in Kenya are increasing strongly! The not so good news is that conflict between humans and the elephants roaming into villages and onto ranches is also increasing. However conservationists and government are working to protect Kenya's elephants. Read on

Kenyan Maasai Cricket Warriors Pitch Up in Traditional Gear

Maasai Warriors in MombasaEver seen a Maasai Warrior playing cricket in his colourful traditional clothes complete with accessories? Well, here's a whole team of them, the Kenyan Maasai Cricket Warriors, in action! Read on

The One of a Kind Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya

Northern white rhinosKenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy is an outstanding wildlife gem - home to the last two northern white rhinos on the planet, East Africa's largest black rhino sanctuary, the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees and more! Read on

Top 12 Reasons to visit Zanzibar Islands

RobZanzibar is an alluring beach destination, ideally located off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa - one of the best safari regions in Africa. Safari goers often combine their game viewing adventures in Africa with a relaxing getaway to the beautiful, white-sand beaches of Zanzibar Island, for several good reasons! Read on

Tanzania - Land of Legends

Not sure which country to explore on safari in East Africa? Tanzania comes out tops! Read on

Personal Experience: Greater Kruger vs. Kruger Park

Dave Miller A detailed breakdown explaining the differences between the Greater Kruger National Park and the Kruger National Park. Read on

Serengeti vs Masai Mara: A Comparison

Marc VeraartWhat are the similarities and differences between Serengeti and Masai Mara? Which of these famous East African game parks is best for an African safari? Find out in our blog comparing Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara, two of the best (and joined) game reserves in Africa. Read on

Our TrustPilot Reviews

Show us some FB Love

Follow @RealAfroSafaris