What about elephants


Suraj is a male temple elephant who is about 45 years old. Sometime in his past, his entire left ear was ripped off. It was so long ago, that no one remembers how it happened, but we suspect it could have been when he was captured from the wild as a baby and separated from his mother and herd.
When our team arrived at the temple recently to check in on Suraj, he was standing in his own excrement and urine, in the same dank room he has occupied for years, perhaps decades. His heavy chains clanked as he shifted uncomfortably in his place.
Our vet got to work examining him, and discovered that poor Suraj is basically suffering from the tip of his trunk to the end of his tail. He has bullhook wounds on his head, a lice and tick infestation, cracked and painful toenails, foot rot, infection in both eyes, and even a severe injury to the tip of his tail.
While our team did not yet have the official permission required to rescue him, they simply couldn’t leave without trying to give Suraj some small measure of comfort. So they managed to convince his handlers to take him out for a short walk in the sunshine, with a brief stop at a nearby river.

This video shows Suraj out on his walk,

and though he seemed to enjoy his small adventure, you can see how abnormal and labored his gait is. His pain is evident and heartbreaking. But it is not inevitable. With your help, he can find relief.
Suraj means “sunshine” in Hindi. It’s a name we chose for him because we are determined to get him out of that dark room. With your help, we can give him more than a taste of freedom, more than just a few minutes of sunshine. We can give him a whole new life and a bright future.
We have already cleared two of the three hurdles we initially faced in our effort to rescue Suraj. Your support so far is bringing us closer every day to setting him free. Together, let’s bring Suraj home for the holidays.

Suraj has been rescued

Suraj spent decades chained in a dank room in a temple in Maharashtra. At some point in his life, one of his ears was torn off. When we found him, he had bull hook wounds on his head and countless other maladies. In short, he was in a desperate state.

But on December 21st, 2015, everything changed for him. After what was likely the most dangerous rescue operation we’ve ever conducted, he was rescued.

We will have more to share about Suraj in the days to come, but for now we thought you would enjoy seeing some photos and details from his rescue operation and his journey to our rescue center.

Suraj still has much healing to do, and we need people to become monthly donors to help support his care.
Will you be one of them?

You can understand it was a dramatic rescue
A contingent of 70 police and forest department officials accompany us. A mob of people is expected to be there to resist this rescue, and so backup is necessary.

You can read about it in the link and see pictures

I´m happy that those bullhooks are taken and will never hurt someone again.
Poor Suraj, but this is the beginning of his new life with love and care
Chad’s New Elephant Guardians…
Keeping to his promise to ensure that Chad’s elephants fate will not become the same as in its neighboring countries, President Idriss Deby has deployed a highly trained military unit from the Chadian armed forces to aid in the protection of Zakouma National Park and its flora and fauna. This unit is working in conjunction with the existing ranger teams that are currently on the ground.

The legendary Zakouma National Park was created in 1963, and was Chad’s first national park, it has an area of almost 3000 square kilometres (1200 square miles) and is entirely surrounded by the Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve, which is a conservation area of roughly 20,600 square kilometres.

For many years Zakouma was neglected during the period of civil conflict, but with the arrival of President Deby to power a restoration has began and is continuing to date. Zakuma boasts in rich and diverse wildlife population that includes over 44 species of large mammals as well as many species of birds.

Zakouma National Park has been nominated to become a Unesco World Heritage Site.


Rescued in December 2015 from a lifetime of abuse and negligence as a confined temple elephant in Satara, Maharashtra, Suraj, the 45 year old one –eared tusker is now on a steady road to recovery in his new home at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC) in Mathura.

When the Wildlife SOS Rescue team first found him, they were devastated to see him restrained by spiked chains in a dark, dank room with little food and water. He had a malnourished frame, his body was covered with bull-hook wounds, his feet were in an advanced stage of foot-rot and his tail was injured and left untreated. In addition, due to the constant pressure from the heavy chains, his right front wrist had twisted outwards.

Suraj is currently undergoing treatment for the injuries he sustained at the hands of his former owners and has gained a healthy amount of weight as well as a hearty appetite. Due to lack of important nutrients and vitamins, he’s being given supplements with his meals, which mainly consists of sugarcane, green fodder and a variety of fruits and vegetables. His favourite foods include papayas and peppermint.

Though initially aloof and wary of his new surroundings, Suraj is gradually settling down and has become much calmer. He has learned to be a bit more trusting and is responding well to his mahouts and has been interacting with the other bull elephants like Rajesh and Mac and we are hopeful to see them all bonding over time.

Suraj has also been introduced to our target training program, a process which relies on positive reinforcement for the elephants to achieve repeated actions that enables the vets to provide safe and effective veterinary care of the animal without stressing it out. Recently, he developed abscesses on his left hip but is responding well to his treatment and his wrist injury is gradually healing as well.

One of the happiest moments since his arrival at the centre has been his growing fondness of the elephant pool, where he loves taking baths and enjoys splashing water. Though the mental and physical scars from his traumatic past will take years to heal, it is truly heart-warming to see Suraj take his first few steps towards a more positive future.

Elephant that killed British tourist performed at Thai safari camp tainted by cruelty allegations
Animal welfare campaigners launch fresh bid to ban elephant rides as ‘world’s cruellest wildlife tourist attraction’ after Gareth Crowe trampled and gored

The marauding elephant that trampled and gored a British tourist to death in Thailand after attacking its handler is forced to perform at an island safari camp that has been accused of cruelty to animals by customers.
Animal welfare campaigners have now launched a fresh call for a ban on all tourist elephant rides, saying the practice is cruel to the animals as well as dangerous for holidaymakers.
Gareth Crowe, 36, from Scotland, was killed in front of his 16-year-old step-daughter by an elephant that threw them to the ground after its handler dismounted to take a photograph of them on the holiday island of Koh Samui.
The handler, or mahout, reportedly tried to control the animal with a speared hook and was also gored, but survived.

A video emerged last night from another recent British visitor to the island showing a mahout jabbing an elephant with a similar hook at the main trekking park.
Mr Crowe was killed on Tuesday, the day before a new report released by British campaigners named elephant riding as top of a list of the world’s cruellest wildlife tourist attractions.
The London-based group World Animal Protection conducted the study into wildlife tourism with the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit.
“It’s clear that thousands of tourists are visiting wildlife attractions, unaware of the abuse wild animals face behind the scenes,” said Kate Nustedt, director of wildlife at World Animal Protection.
“As well as the cruelty to animals, there is also the very real danger to tourists, as we saw earlier this week with the very sad death of Mr Crowe.
“We need to stop the demand for elephant rides and shows, hugs and selfies with tigers and lions by exposing the hidden suffering behind wildlife attractions.
“If you can ride it, hug it or have a selfie with a wild animal, then you can be sure it is cruel. Vote with your feet and don’t go.”
Eilidh Hughes, Mr Crowe’s step-daughter is being treated for injuries in hospital after the accident on a trek organised by the Island Safari Camp.

The camp, one of the island’s largest tourism businesses, emphasises the safety of its customers on its website.
But several customers have posted comments on travel review sites criticising the treatment of its animals and saying they had witnessed wounds inflicted from apparent abuse by their handlers, including the use of the speared hooks.
Samattapong Uttama, assistant managing director of Island Safari, told The Telegraph that the company was investigating the claims of cruelty posted online.
“The mahouts have hooks to control the elephants but they are told not to use the sharp ends,” he said.
“We don’t use the animals to make money but to show tourists about the cultural history of our country and how people used to live here. We do not believe there is cruelty involved in these rides.”

Edwin Wiek, founder of the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand, said that he believed the male elephant that killed Mr Crowe was reacting aggressively as it was in musth, the frenzied state during rutting season.
It was the sixth fatal incident in the last five months involving bull elephants in musth across Thailand, he told the DPA news agency said.
"Male elephants should not be a part of these treks at all as they are uncontrollable when they are in heat," Mr Wiek said.
Thailand has an estimated 4,000 domesticated elephants, many working in the tourism trade, beside some 2,500 wild elephants.
In August, an elephant killed his handler with three terrified Chinese tourists still on his back. The tourists survived.
The elephant riding industry is extremely lucrative in Koh Samui. Local officials and tour operators apparently sought to protect its commercial interests with varying explanations for the animal’s behaviour.
There were initial local media reports that Mr Crowe had teased the animal by appearing to offer it a banana after dismounting to take a photograph. But those were quickly denied by Eilidh in a comment on a local news website.
Then island officials said they suspected that “hot weather made the elephant angry” – a confusing claim as the elephants are native Asian animals and temperatures at the time were about the average 30C.
Mr Samattapong said that the elephant had been tranquillised and brought under control and was now being treated.


Instead of elephantrides we can have elephant walks.
But wild elephants should never be caught to work in the tourist trade.
When I was two years old, my mother took me to a circus and I had an elephant ride. I don't remember it though. Still disgusting. I haven't been to a circus for more than a decade, thankfully.

I hate it when a circus arrives in the town and loads of people bring in their children. "Because they've never seen an elephant!!" So what? I've never seen a platypus. If I want to, I'll have to fly to Australia. I can't just snatch away an animal because someone else wants to see it. So many people want to have everything at all costs.
Hawaii Revealed as Major Market for Illicit Ivory
An investigation by conservation groups found that the Aloha State boasts the third-largest trade in elephant ivory in the U.S.

An investigation by conservation organizations has found that Hawaii is the third-largest market for illegal ivory in the U.S., behind New York and California.

Over the course of six days, investigators located more than 4,600 items for sale from 47 online retailers. The items carried a combined price tag of $1.2 million. Although some of those goods were things such as carved walrus tusks, the majority were advertised as being elephant ivory. The illegal ivory trade is responsible for the plummet in African elephant populations in recent decades. Between 2010 and 2012, poachers killed 100,000 elephants for their ivory tusks.

Sellers identified during the investigation included retail stores (online and brick-and-mortar shops), as well as art galleries, artist associations, estate liquidators, auction sites, and individuals on Craigslist. Four of the largest retailers each had more than $100,000 worth of ivory in stock. One retailer had $574,000 worth of ivory products for sale.

Most if not all of this activity was likely illegal, according to the investigation. The sale of ivory is highly regulated in the United States. Under regulations passed two years ago, only the sale of antique ivory certified as having been imported prior to 1976 is allowed. The research revealed that just one of the Hawaiian retailers offered the required documentation and suggested that these documents are all too easy to fake.

“The new results were definitely surprising but in retrospect maybe shouldn’t have been,” said Peter LaFontaine, campaigns manager for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, one of the four conservation groups responsible for the probe. “It makes sense that Hawaii would be a big market for these products. Millions of Asian and American tourists visit every year, and it’s a prominent stop for air and sea traffic.”

According to the report, dozens of flights and ships arrive in Hawaii from the Asia Pacific region every day, making it easy to smuggle ivory into the state.

In addition, LaFontaine said that “authorities have only recently begun to crack down on ivory trafficking” and the new federal protections have not necessarily created progress on the state level.

That could change. A bill to ban the trade in products from elephants and a number of other wildlife species is making its way through the Hawaiian legislature. The state Senate passed the bill last month. The state’s Judiciary Committee approved it last week, and it now awaits a House vote.

Although previous bills to ban the sale of ivory in Hawaii have failed, this one appears to have greater support. “We are cautiously optimistic,” said Sara Marinello, executive director for government affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society, another of the organizations behind the investigation. “Polls show over 80 percent of Hawaii residents support a state ivory ban. However, there is a very small but vocal group of ivory sellers spreading fear and misinformation,” she said. The National Rifle Association, for example, calls the legislation an attempt to take away people’s antique firearms.

LaFontaine said the new report may facilitate the passing of the bill. “We have been sharing the results with lawmakers and state agencies to help them understand the scope of ivory trade in Hawaii,” he said. “Fortunately, it’s helped to build the case that these bills are more than just symbolic, that they will address a very real problem in the state and ultimately help to reduce the amount of ivory trafficking there.”

New York and California have banned ivory sales. While it’s too early to say how effective those regulations have been, Marinello said that “the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has seen anecdotal evidence of less ivory in the marketplace.” She added that some stores still appear to be selling illegal ivory, but the new ban will help in prosecutions.

LaFontaine said the bills are important because federal law has little control over ivory sales that do not cross state borders. “Ultimately, we need states to take action to close the big loophole that is intrastate trade,” he said.

For nearly all 53 years of her life, Rhea has been a circus elephant, facing horrific abuse and neglect. Possibly poached from the wild as a calf, torn away from her family and herd, she spent the early childhood years of her circus life being beaten into submission, punished regularly and deprived of food and water. She was kept tied in confined spaces, her movement restricted by heavy chains and tight ropes that dug painfully into her legs. The horror of her living and working conditions continued through her entire life, as she was forced to perform in the circus that held her captive.
Through those nearly five decades of trauma and unimaginable pain, Rhea had two sources of comfort- tied beside her in the dingy circus tent, sharing in her sorrow, were two more female circus elephants named Mia and Sita.

In the wild, elephants live in groups known as herds, and their high intelligence and sensitivity allow for the development of some of the most powerful, heart-warming familial bonds in the animal world. Trapped together in their miserable conditions, Rhea, Mia and Sita would have developed just that- a sisterhood strengthened only further by their shared experiences of pain.

In November 2015, Wildlife SOS managed to get together the paperwork required to secure Mia and Sita’s freedom, but Rhea’s rescue was delayed due to the last missing bit of permission. We had to take one of our most painful decisions, to leave behind their sister, to provide Mia and Sita the immediate veterinary care they needed. It broke our hearts to leave Rhea behind, but we always knew we’d come back for her, and fight with all our strength to get her freed too.

Her time in the circus has left Rhea riddled with ailments. Her feet are in atrocious conditions, with deep painful cracks running through her swollen soles. Her nails are cracked and her cuticles overgrown, testament to the neglect she has been subjected to all these years.She walks awkwardly, with a slight limp, and we are suspicious of more serious wounds or problems that can only be diagnosed once she is in our care at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, Mathura. Her gaunt frame is heart wrenching to behold, starved of any substantial or appropriate nutrition for her entire life. Her advanced age is also a cause for concern, and we are keen to get her to ECCC as soon as possible, to have our veterinarians, trained in specialised geriatric care for elderly elephants, to care for her.

Most importantly, Rhea needs the companionship of other elephants, particularly her ‘sisters’ to help her begin on the long road to recovering from the acute mental stress she has been under all these years, undoubtedly increased over the months she must have been alone feeling abandoned by her ‘family’. She needs to experience the love and care of her herd again, along with the devoted attention of the Wildlife SOS staff, all geared up to save her.

True to the promise we made this amazing elephant nearly five months ago, we’re back in Tamil Nadu to rescue Rhea and reunite her with her companions, and she’s now just one long road trip away from being reunited with the sisters she probably thought she would never see her again. Help us bring her home, and provide her with the new life she so desperately needs and deserves.


It´s never easy to lose a friend

It is very hard for Jokia to believe that her best friend, Mae Perm, is gone from her life. After Mae Perm passed away we brought Jokia to walk out from the enclosure because we don't want her to be too stressed inside her shelter . The first steps beyond her door, she rushed to find her friend , and called every minute, searching her trunk to call Mae Perm. She expected as every time prior that when she spoke her low rumble to call Mae Perm, that she will come to hug and comfort her, as every time before ! But now there is only emptiness and no familiar word. I can feel her emptiness. I can see her tears run down with fear and confusion . My heart is so hurt and devastated with deep pain for my girl lost and for the beautiful one left behind, darkness surround. While Mae Perm was here she was the light behind Jokia's eyes, and the will to live. Since Mae Perm passed away, Jokia spends her time looking for the place, the smells, the memories where they walked together all around where they both used to stay together. She sniffs everywhere, and when she finds where Mae Perm has peed, she stops for a long time to observe and then she displays her sorrow and clearly mourns. I Hope time can help to heal her. Currently she spends her days with Navaan and his family but she is uneasy..Yai Bua and the other elder nannies didn't work out..Please pray for Jokia to find a new precious caring friend, someone who can be her eyes and the light for her. If you don't believe about animals having a strong bond and animals having such deep feeling watch this video..
U.S. Bans Ivory Sales. Will China Be Next?
Advocates hope that America’s near total outlawing of elephant ivory sales will spur other major markets to do the same.

Your move, China. That’s the message sent by the Obama administration on Thursday in announcing a near total ban on commercial sales of African elephant ivory, set to take effect in July.

The U.S. is the world’s second-largest market for trafficked ivory, with most sales occurring in New York, California, and Hawaii, according to one recent report.

Now conservationists hope the world’s biggest consumer of illegal ivory will respond in kind.

Last September, President Xi Jinping of China jointly promised with President Obama to end domestic ivory sales, aiming to curtail a slaughter that is wiping out, by some estimates, almost 100 wild elephants a day.

But the Chinese government has yet to follow through, said Leigh Henry, a policy adviser with the World Wildlife Fund.

“When, in 2013, the United States crushed six tons of seized ivory in Denver, afterwards China crushed 6.1 tons of ivory. So there is definitely this kind of tit for tat that we’ve seen in the past,” said Henry.

With the U.S. ban formalized, “what I hope China will do is give a greater level of detail and a timeline for their ban,” she said, noting that the U.S. agencies worked hard to be sure the rule would be finalized in time for an annual high-level diplomatic meeting between American and Chinese officials in Beijing next week. According to the State Department, the meeting’s agenda will include energy, environmental, and economic issues.

The Obama administration intends for the near ban to have a chilling effect on global demand for elephant ivory. “One way we will evaluate the effectiveness of this rule is by evaluating how much ivory continues to make its way into the U.S. market,” said Craig Hoover, who directs U.S. compliance with international conservation and wildlife trade agreements at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We’ll also measure our success in terms of what other countries do to further regulate their own domestic markets.”

The U.S. has joined with governments of African elephant range countries to press for a worldwide closure of domestic ivory markets, said Iris Ho, the wildlife program manager at Humane Society International, and that effort's potential is likely to be tested at the upcoming meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, scheduled to take place in Johannesburg in September.

There are a few exemptions in the ivory ban—such as allowing interstate sales of antiquities over 100 years old, as well as some musical instruments and other items containing less than 200 grams of ivory. (The Fish and Wildlife Service has posted guidelines online.) States still have jurisdiction over sales that don’t cross state lines.

The ban should add clout to the U.S. position at CITES while also diminishing the allure of ivory at home, Ho said.

“It’s sending out the message that ivory is a taboo product,” she said. “Ivory represents elephant slaughter. The rule will help to stop perpetuating the notion that ivory is collectible.”

Here is a video with rescued elephant Raju
Another elephant should have been rescued at the same time but there have been problems even if it was illegal for the owners to keep the elephant.
Finally it happened, Mohan is rescued.
I was hoping it would happen one day.

Beggar-elephant rescued after years of efforts
Animal activists call him the "unluckiest elephant" they had known so far and it took over 50 police officers, several foresters and a 20-hour-long operation following years of legal battle to finally rescue Mohan from slavery.

Now free from its influential and politically-backed captors in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, after the district court intervened, Mohan -- a 55-year-old male elephant -- is now in Uttar Pradesh forest department's custody.

Mohan along with Raju, another elephant which had been rescued by the animal welfare organisation 'Wildlife SOS' two years back from Allahabad, was caught as a calf and sold at Sonepur Cattle Fair, Bihar.

"Both Raju and Mohan were used as begging elephants. They were placed outside a temple or roadside, and people would throw money for receiving blessings from the elephant, through a gentle tap by its trunk on the customer's head," Suvidha Bhatnagar from Wildlife SOS told IANS on Sunday.

"We wanted to rescue them both together, but the legal battle in case of Mohan took too long," she added.

The medical report of the elephant says that he is very thin and 'emaciated' due to severe starvation.

"There were multiple wounds on his body and ears, due to beating and poking by sharp objects. The feet injuries would lead to permanent joint disorders if not properly treated immediately. The elephant's dung had a lot of round worms and indicated severe worm infestation," the report said.

The rescue operation, assisted by Wildlife SOS, also faced resistance from the supporters of the captors and they damaged one vehicle.

The mahout of Mohan has been arrested, while two other captors are on run, official told IANS.

"Mohan was transferred to custody of forest department in Pratapgarh where he will be provided medical care for the time being," said Y.P. Shukla, Prataphgarh District Forest Officer.

On July 12, the District Court in Pratapgarh ordered police to file an FIR against the three captors holding the elephant in illegal custody and seize the animal within three days. However, Mohan could be rescued only nine days later due to local political pressure.

"The elephant was in such a location where vehicles cannot reach. The nearest road was about five km away," Adarsh Singh, District Magistrate of Pratapgarh told IANS. He, however, denied any political pressure against the rescue.

Wildlife SOS and the forest department of Uttar Pradesh had earlier made several attempts to secure Mohan's rescue. However, the attempts failed as the legal proceedings were postponed and delayed repeatedly.

"Hope this breakthrough in attaining Mohan's long overdue freedom would initiate zero tolerance for illegal ownership of elephants in country, where they are we pray to them in the form of Ganesha but also torture them. I hope that this rescue would give hope for elephants across the country which are held illegally," Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, told IANS.
I´m happy that she´s free now, it has been too many years she was forced to have tourists on her back.

She enjoys her new life.
I can imagine that life on a trekking camp was filled with noise and she was never left alone.
Now she can enjoy the silence (as silent nature can be)and to be on her own if she wants it.
Baby Zuki and his mother are rescued
She talks about training for the baby, it´s a training to break his spirit
In the link you can see how the training works

I dont know how long the poor baby had been in training and if it was during that time he something happened to his mouth
update video
Let´s hope he will continue to heal
Understanding The Elephant Orphans' Project

NAIROBI NURSERY UNIT: The Infant Nursery Stage

Trousers and Natumi Rescued orphaned infant elephants arrive at the Trust’s Nairobi Nursery severely traumatised by the events that have caused the separation from their mother and family by more often than not extreme circumstances. Aside from the trauma and shock from such events the infant inevitably enters a period of deep grieving for its lost loved ones, which can last for months. During this critical period survival hangs in the balance and not all calves can be persuaded to make the effort to try to live. The Nairobi Nursery offers a secure base and a loving environment to nurture these orphans at a time of greatest need.

Over the years and through trial and error Daphne Sheldrick has developed the milk formula needed for successfully rearing a new-born elephant through its first very fragile few months. This special formula must also be combined with the correct intensive and hands-on husbandry, which involves a human ‘family’ (the Keepers) who replace the lost elephant family and stay with the orphans in the Nairobi Nursery 24 hours a day, sleeping with the infants during the night on a rotational basis. The Keepers work on rotation to avoid a calf becoming too attached to any one person and pining when that person has to take time off. To a baby elephant, who is emotionally very fragile, it is the family aspect that is all important. The Trust’s Keepers handle their ‘adopted’ infant with gentle patience, exuding love and feeding the baby on demand, little and often, which is vital to the survival of the calf. Elephants are tactile and highly social animals, so the human "family" is always encouraged to be in physical contact with the babies as much as possible, talking to them and demonstrating genuine heartfelt affection, as would their elephant family.

Gradually the calf will settle into a 3-hourly feeding routine throughout the day and night, with the Keepers always present to represent the orphan’s lost family. The orphan must be watched at all times and their Keepers must protect them with blankets when cold, rainwear when wet and sunscreen and an umbrella when exposed to sun during the first 2 months of life. Infant elephants are also difficult feeders and the Keepers need endless patience to encourage the calf to take sufficient milk to sustain their life and help them to thrive. To achieve this, the tip of the calf’s trunk must feel comfortable before the calf will suckle; this is done by resting its trunk against a hung blanket, which feels a little like its mother, only then will the calf slowly relax. Gradually the calf will then transfer its trunk to the neck, face or armpit of the Keeper. The first molars erupt between 1 and 4 months, this teething can trigger fever and diarrhoea which can be life threatening, plunging the calf into rapid physical decline through dehydration, yet the Keepers are always at hand to provide the best care possible and all the medical attention they need.

Like human children, baby elephants need toys and stimulation. Highly intelligent, with a giant memory, they duplicate human children in many ways, so during infancy distractions of all sorts must be built into the daily routine. The Keepers take the orphans on walks in varied surroundings with unlimited access to Nature's toys such as sticks and stones, plus artificial playthings such as rubber tubes and balls. Cause for celebration is when a baby elephant plays for the first time, because only then can one be sure of a reasonable chance of success as an elephant will only thrive if they are happy.

Elephants like all wild animals have instinctive natural needs. Wild babies need freedom and exposure to a natural environment in order for instinct to become honed and equip them with the strength they need to reintegrate into the wild. As in human children, discipline establishes the boundaries of acceptable behaviour around humans, but this must be meted out gently and with sensitivity, and only after the calf has settled down and understands tone of voice and the accusing wagging of a finger. However, it is essential to make a big show of forgiveness later on, so that the calf understands that it was unpopular not because it is not loved, but rather for a wrongdoing. With elephants, one reaps what one sows, and how the animal will react in the company of humans when grown is dependent upon how it has been handled and treated by humans when young.

The third and fourth milk dependent years are weaning years, when both the quantity and frequency of milk feeds is gradually reduced as the calf ingests larger quantities of vegetation. Elephants need a varied diet comprised of several different plants as well as the bark of trees which contain the minerals and trace elements needed to build and strengthen such huge bones. This plant selection is instinctive within the genetic memory given at birth and not something that has to be taught by a human.


When the Nursery orphans are thriving after their time in Nairobi and are psychologically and physically stable for relocation, they are transferred to either the Voi or Ithumba Stockades in Tsavo East National Park or the Umani Springs Stockades in the Kibwezi Forest. Tsavo encompasses an area of 8,000 square miles (over 12,000 square kms) containing Kenya’s largest single population of elephants, which currently stands at approximately 12,000. It is in this magnificent environment where most of our hand-reared orphans will ultimately live, for this is the only Park in Kenya that offers them the space they need for a quality of life that elephants so desperately need.
The Voi Unit: This Unit is the original rehabilitation unit, first built by David Sheldrick during his time as warden of Tsavo East National Park back in 1948 when he was based at Voi in southern Tsavo East.

The Ithumba Unit: This Unit, built in 2004, is the second rehabilitation unit to be built in Tsavo East and is situated at Ithumba in the Northern sector of the Park, where the DSWT manages two self-catering camps, Ithumba Camp and Ithumba Hill.

The Umani Springs Unit: This Unit was built in 2014 and is located in the Kibwezi Forest, one of the DSWT’s Saving Habitats projects where the Trust holds a concession to manage and protect this incredibly unique ground water forest. Here too, the Trust owns and manages a self-catering lodge called ‘Umani Springs’. The newest of the Trust’s rehabilitation units, this Unit is more suitable for some of the Trust’s orphans who have been compromised physically due to injuries or ailments making them ill-equipped for the harsher environment of Tsavo East.

The orphans are translocated along with their Keepers, who rotate between the Nursery and the other rehabilitation units, so that the elephants know their Keepers and the men know the elephants. On arrival they are welcomed warmly and instantly accepted into the still-dependent group of larger orphans who have preceded them through the Nursery. During this key stage they will begin the gradual process of reintegration back into the wild elephant community, with days spent walking with the Keepers far and wide in the bush, encountering the scent of wild herds. After their days in the bush, they then re-join their Keepers to return to communal Night Stockades where they can be protected against attack by predators whilst still vulnerable.

he length of time it will take for an orphaned elephant to become a “wild” elephant, comfortable amongst a wild herd is influenced by various factors, including the age that the elephant was orphaned, its unique personality and the friends that they have made. But gradually the orphans will begin to fraternize more with other elephants, eventually finding elephant company more stimulating than that of humans.

Whilst on their daily sojourns in the bush the orphaned elephants are welcomed into wild herds, allowed to play with wild age mates and tolerated as long as they behave normally and well. It is common for ex-orphans now living wild to return and take one of the Stockade based “Juniors” off for a trial Night-Out in the wild, and also not uncommon for the aspiring graduate to feel daunted and insecure without human protection during the hours of darkness. If so, he or she is escorted back to the Stockades during the night (usually by a couple of the ex-orphaned bulls) and handed back to the Keepers again to return to the security of the Stockades.

Each orphan decides when to make the transition into the wild herds. That choice rests with each and every individual but the bulls are more independent than the females, who tend to remain together as a “family”, before deciding to go wild as a group. No orphan is ever simply “tipped out”, each one is gradually introduced through access and exposure. Once “wild” many orphans still keep in touch with the Unit, returning from time to time to visit and also when in need of help, confident that their human family will be there for them when they do.


Freedom From Circus Shows

July 28, 2016
When Faa Sai was found she was about 4 years old. She was a young elephant who was so stressed, she began to starve herself. According to her previous owner, she was developing cataracts in both eyes and she was refusing to eat. In this time, she was put in shackles and chained because she had become very aggressive towards her mahouts, attempting to attack them. Her two front ankles were chained so close together that she had difficulty moving.

ENP rescued her while she was still in a mentally traumatized state. Upon arrival to the sanctuary, we tried to introduce her to the herd with caution, though we know that no one will understand the elephant as much as they do. The Nannies were so excited to meet her and the herd adopted her right away. She was given a new start to life at our park which means she would never be beaten again; she gets so much love from the herd.

Today Faa Sai has become a gentle and supportive elephant as she is the best Nanny, who expresses love and care toward the herd. Every time we receive the new rescue elephant to the park , she will be the first one who walks to welcome and comfort them. Thanks for all of you to support us and to let us continue to work to rescue elephants and bring them a happy life with us at Elephant Nature Park.

Saving India´s Elephants Meet the Founders of Wildlife SOS
Please join Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani, the founders of Wildlife SOS, for a free lecture on their work to save India's elephants. The 1-hour presentation will highlight many of their elephant rescue stories, including those of Raju and Mohan. You won't want to miss this rare opportunity to meet Kartick and Geet in person in Southern California!

There will be a live Q&A session after the presentation as well as vegan snacks. Crafts from India will be available for sale.

The event is in the Community Meeting Room at the Library. Parking is free with validation ($3/hour without).

We hope to see you there!


I would like to know how they started the charity.. but for me this event is to far away
Join us in celebrating a new life

Imagine the surprise for our Ithumba Keepers when yesterday, at the break of dawn, a new baby born to now wild living orphan Galana was revealed! There they both were, waiting outside the stockades, the baby born just hours before under the cover of darkness.

She was escorted by five wild bulls and our dependent orphans Laragai and Narok were able to be the first nannies to the tiny baby once they left the confines of the night stockades.

Then the ex-orphans arrived and pandemonium broke out! They were so excited and overcome with joy of a new baby in the fold, trumpeting and charging around celebrating. Throughout the day Galana was surrounded by ex-orphans and wild elephants alike who have taken on the role of nanny to newborn Gawa.

Gawa means to share in Swahili, an apt name given how our ex-orphans always share the joy of their new born babies with us, their human family, and today was no different.

These moments are testament to the success of our Orphans’ Project and we hope all of you who help make this lifesaving work possible, will join us in sharing Galana’s joy.

If you do not know Galana’s own story, you can read it here: https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/…/orphan_profile.asp…
Mohan has come home to the sanctuary, now it´s time to heal
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
17 tim ·

They say water is life and no where is this more true than Tsavo National Park. Tsavo is currently experiencing a drought, after the April/May rains in the region failed to materialise.

Signs are beginning to appear that the long rains are coming, with baobab trees sprouting green leaves. In the meantime, the DSWT's water bowsers are hard at work, providing essential water not only for the orphans, but also ex-orphans and increasing numbers of wild elephants. With all manner of other species also benefiting.

We have also been busy refurbishing water boreholes we have drilled throughout the region, ensuring they are operating as efficiently as possible. As well as adding new ones, which all help mitigate human-wildlife conflict, as elephants and other wild animals are not forced to enter community lands in search of water.