By Alexandra Piotrowski
The Kenyan jungle, just miles away from Nairobi, is home to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust‘s Orphan Project. It’s here that over 150 orphaned baby elephants have been hand-raised and rehabilitated before being rereleased into the wild.
The African elephants that have come through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust facility arrived through tragic conditions: they were all orphaned as a result of poaching. There were millions of these gentle giants in Africa at the beginning of the 20th century, but the World Wildlife Fund estimates that there are less than 500,000 of them left freely roaming the continent today. The species’ decline is linked primarily to the poaching industry, which kills upwards of 36,000 of them for their ivory tusks annually.
While you may be half a world away from these majestic creatures, you can still do a world of good for them. Help rewrite the story of Africa’s endangered elephants by making a $50 donation and ‘adopting’ one. Proceeds go to elephant care and feeding supplies, and will help these animals grow up strong so they can be rereleased into the wild, where they belong. (Bonus points for this being the most low-maintenance pet you’ve ever adopted: you get updates about your elephant’s welfare without ever having to pick up its poop.) Consider this a win-win, whether you donate out of the goodness of your heart, or as part of a holiday gift for someone on your list.
RYOT NOTE: You know what’s better than getting someone a Snuggie or a Chia Pet this holiday season? Getting them a baby elephant. A $50 donation goes to support an orphaned African elephant until it can be rehabilitated and rereleased into the wild. Learn more about the damaging effects of the ivory trade on Africa’s native creatures, and give the gift of supporting an endangered species and visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s fostering page today. Video.