Elephant Poaching in Kenya – Elephants in Kenya have been one of the most heavily poached populations on the whole continent, especially in the Eastern National Parks like Tsavo. These parks are close to ports where poachers can easily kill elephants and smuggle the ivory out of the country and into the Chinese black market. This mass killing often breaks up elephant herds and leaves young, dependent elephants without mothers.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Orphanage in Nairobi takes the young, orphaned, elephants and gives them the care and attention of an elephant mother. By being raised together, these young calves build social bonds, and to give them a simulated mother, human caretakers sleep with the young calves and feed them from a bottle.
Reintroducing the Elephants to the Wild – After a few years in the orphanage, the elephants are taken to a final rehabilitation center on the edge of the Tsavo National park to get used to being in a wild habitat. When they have adapted to this new environment and can take care of themselves, they are released into wild elephant herds as a way to boost to this suffering population. This successful wildlife trust and orphanage has released hundreds of orphan elephants back into the wild and contributed greatly to the continued survival and renewal of the elephant population in Kenya.