All funds donated through this page are sent DIRECTLY to the Elephant Orphanage Project in Zambia through the kind folks at the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.
Elephant Orphanage Project, Zambia
To Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release orphaned elephants back into the wild in Kafue National Park, Zambia
In 2007 the EOP came into being when a number of baby elephants were separated from their natal families. They were the tragic victims of illegal poaching activities and human-elephant conflict. The EOP Rehabilitation and Release Facility was first established by Game Rangers International in South Kafue National Park (KNP), where there is a 1,000 strong local elephant population. This location maximises the opportunity for the orphans to socialise with wild elephants and eventually reintegrate with them back in the wild. We receive core funding from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation but rely on other well-wishers to cover the ever-increasing costs of rehablitating these gentle and beautiful creatures.
Under the age of two, young elephants are incredibly vulnerable and many do not survive without intricate care and nutrient rich milk from their mothers. At the EOP Nursery in Lusaka elephant calves are cared for around the clock, with dedicated teams of Keepers constantly at their sides to provide comfort, encouragement and milk feeds every three hours!
As the babies grow and become more independent they are encouraged to feed for themselves as they walk in the African bush and very soon develop strong trunk muscles. After weaning the calves are transferred to Kafue National Park where they will join the existing orphan herd. Here they graze and browse from dawn till dusk, socialising with each other and wild Kafue elephants and developing the skills they will need to become independent wild elephants once again. Their growth rate is slow but steady (similar to humans, with elephants living to approximately 60 years), and it may take them ten or more years before they feel confident enough to leave the security of their surrogate herd at EOP and venture further into the Park to begin their life back in the wild.
Amazingly, it is now these elephant orphans who are giving something back to wildlife protection as flagships for conservation. These young orphans, the face of the project, are now generating support and awareness through Game Rangers International of the ongoing battle against wildlife crimes.
In Lusaka many Zambian families and school children are able to visit the Elephant Nursery to view elephant possibly for the first time.
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