To Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release orphaned elephants back into the wild!
The Wildlife Rescue Department runs the Elephant Orphanage Project which offers sanctuary for defenseless abandoned elephant calves, often the tragic victims of poaching and human conflict. Under the age of two, young elephants are incredibly vulnerable and dependent. Many do not survive without intricate care and nutrient rich milk from their mothers. At the Lilayi Elephant Nursery these fragile elephants are cared for around the clock – a milk dependent orphan requires special milk formula every three hours!
A team of locally employed, highly trained Keepers care for them and watch over them constantly – whether out during their daily walks, or sitting close by their stables at night. Together with their new siblings and Keepers these young elephants learn to overcome the tragic loss of their natal family, as they browse, play and bath together in a natural environment.
As soon as the calves can be weaned from milk they will be moved to the Kafue National Park, to join other older orphaned elephants at the EOP Kafue Release Facility, where they are more independent of human support and spend most of their time browsing freely in the National Park. The Facility backs onto the ancient Ngoma Teak Forest where there is a 1,000 strong local elephant population, which maximises the opportunity for the orphans to eventually reintegrate with fellow elephants back in the wild.