The DSWT is best known for its life saving work in the rescue and hand-rearing of orphaned baby elephants, so that they can return to the wild when grown. The vast majority of elephants are orphaned due to Man; with a rare few the victims of natural events like flooding or a sick mother. Ivory poaching remains the greatest single threat to elephants and it is estimated that some 38,000 elephants are being killed annually for their tusks.
High levels of ivory poaching, mean more orphans, as poachers will usually leave a baby elephant unharmed as it wears no ivory and so does not yet have any value to them. These fragile babies can not survive more than a matter of days without their mother’s milk and this is where the DSWT steps in.
Under the pioneering leadership of Dame Daphne Sheldrick, we have successfully hand-reared more than 160 orphaned elephants and 14 orphan black rhinos.