GRI's Wildlife Rescue Department provides sanctuary to orphaned elephant calves, separated from their herds as a result of ivory poaching or human-elephant conflict. 

We need your help to give these elephants a second chance!

Digital Adoption

For a minimum donation of US$65 per year you can become an adoptive parent to one of six orphaned elephants in our care. In return, you will receive: 

  • A personalised digital Adoption Certificate

  • A digital profile and photographs of your orphan

  • Exclusive e-updates highlighting events in the progress of your orphan

  • Exclusive photos, videos and artwork for your orphan

  • Reflections from GRI's Elephant Keepers

  • A subscription to GRI's monthly newsletter

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Kafue Release Facility

Chamilandu was only 1.5 years old when her mother was shot by poachers, leaving her a helpless orphan in South Luangwa National Park. With the help and care of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, GRI's Wildlife Rescue Department rescued Chamilandu in November 2007.  She was a strong, healthy and boisterous young elephant calf, but was traumatised by the loss of her mother and suffered terrible nightmares.


Over time, Chamilandu has grown into an incredibly affectionate young elephant. She has strong matriarchal instincts and has mothered all the younger calves, ensuring they are welcomed into the herd, and made history when delivered her very own wild born calf in September 2019!



Kafue Release Facility

Kasewe was rescued at only 9 months of age in September 2016, just four days after her mother had been shot for crop raiding in Mozambique. She was found by a teacher named Sabina, who saw the small orphan wandering alone by the Kasewe stream. Sabina managed to capture Kasewe with her brother and children and restrained her with a chitenge (traditional cloth often used as a skirt) until the rescue team arrived. She was safely transferred to the Elephant Nursery, where she sought the attention of the Keepers to provide her with comfort and reassurance. With nutritional support and the company of her surrogate siblings, Kasewe has settled in well with the rest of the orphan herd at the Nursery.



Kafue Release Facility

Nkala was discovered by farmers in June 2013, as he wandered alone and distressed among cattle. His herd had been driven away from agricultural land and never returned. After hearing about the Wildlife Rescue Department on GRI’s community radio show, the farmers notified the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, and GRI deployed to the small community bordering Kafue National Park. At only 3 months old, Nkala was traumatised and in desperate need of milk.


Over time, he has grown in strength and confidence, and was successfully translocated to the Release Facility in 2016, where he has become an integral member of the herd. 



Kafue Release Facility

In June 2018, 6 month old Lufutuko ("Tuko") was found wandering frightened and alone in Livingstone. With support from DNPW, GRI rescued the little orphan, and safely transferred her to the Elephant Nursery.


Tuko's recovery was slow. Her digestive system struggled to adapt to the specialised milk formula, and she suffered from a blood parasite, but was too weak to cope with the treatment drugs. However,  with targeted veterinary treatment, and the care and attention of her Keepers she gradually gained strength and is now an extremely playful and confident young calf.

On 4th June 2020, Tuko was moved to Kafue Release Facility to begin the next stage of her journey back to the wild.



Kafue Release Facility

Community members captured Ludaka after spotting the young elephant was alone in Rufunsa GMA. Once stable, GRI's Wildlife Rescue Team began the long, slow journey back to the Elephant Nursery. Upon arrival, the calf rushed out of the trailer and into the boma where he spent a few hours calming down before being lured into a stable with food. ⁣

Ludaka's extremely emaciated condition was indicative of being without his mother for a long period of time, which may have compromised his internal organ system. Therefore, great care is being taken over his diet, with small steps to increase his intake whilst supporting his weakened state.⁣

On 4th June 2020, Ludaka was moved to Kafue Release Facility to begin the next stage of her journey back to the wild.

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Lilayi Elephant Nursery

Near South Luangwa National Park DNPW Rangers came across this tragic scene… A mother elephant agonisingly caught around the neck in a poacher’s snare and bearing 3 gun shot wounds! Standing under her chin, her 1-year-old calf stood in terror after the traumatic experience of being shot at and running for their lives.⁣


Tragically, Olimba's mother was too injured to be saved and had to be put out of her suffering. Having been stabilised at Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust, Olimba was flown to the Lilayi Elephant Nursery, where she receives round-the-clock care from her team of dedicated Keepers