Shattered Families, Babies Left Behind

When one elephant is slaughtered, more deaths often follow: young elephants cannot survive without the protection and care of their moms. Poachers are claiming generations of these African giants with just one bullet. San Diego Zoo Global is dedicated to saving these helpless victims of the poaching war—but we can't do it without you. Your tax-deductible donation supports a one-of-a-kind elephant sanctuary in Kenya, currently home to 10 orphaned elephants. Without their moms, these babies are usually sick, stressed, and dehydrated when found. Our partners at the sanctuary take them in, immediately attend to their medical needs, and provide around-the-clock care. 

The elephant sanctuary is now at maximum capacity. We need your support right now to rescue and hand-raise twice as many baby elephants.

Donate Now

And thanks to the generosity of Larry Ellison and Nikita Kahn your gift will matched dollar or dollar—up to $1,000,000—doubling the impact of your support. That means your $100 will be worth $200, $250 will be worth $500, and so on—doubling your power to save elephant orphans.




A human caretaker bottle feeds a newborn elephant calf and gets a thank you kiss




Sweet baby Shaba was just 2 years old when her mother was senselessly killed by poachers, right in front of her. She was sick and traumatized when she arrived at our facility. We were desperate to get her to take a bottle so that she could regain her strength and begin to heal, but she refused. Who could blame her for not trusting humans after humans killed her mom? Day and night, we tried everything we could to bring her back to health. One day, she finally took the bottle, and began to heal. She's been the matriarch and an important part of our orphan herd ever since.



Shaba the elephant gets a bottle from her caretaker



Shaba's like a big sister, taking all the other baby elephants under her wing. She welcomes each new arrival to the orphan herd with a heartfelt hello in the form of a 'trunk snuggle'. She's really something special! Without the generous support of friends like you, Shaba would have died—a second victim of her mother's death.



Baby orphaned elephants visit a local mud hole

Shaba and the herd of orphaned elephant babies learn how to cover themselves in mud to protect themselves against the African sun.



Wild at heart

Shaba spends her days in elephant "school". Under the watchful eye of her caretakers, Shaba and the other orphans romp through the bush, wallowing in mud holes and learning how to be wild elephants. One day soon, Shaba will have learned enough to leave the sanctuary and join a herd. If she has babies, she may even come back to introduce them to us, as some of her older orphan sisters have done. After all, an elephant never forgets. That's part of what makes them so special.

Double Down

The plight of African elephants is devastating. But thanks to friends like you, there is hope. Your donation allows us to rescue, rehabilitate, and safely release orphaned elephants like Shaba.

Right now, our orphan herd needs your help. We are currently at maximum capacity with 10 elephant orphans. We need to raise $250,000 by December 31, 2017, so that we can double the size of our sanctuary before the rainy season begins. Once the heavy rains come, we won't be able to build until the weather clears. We need to double the size of our sanctuary, right now, so that we don't have to turn away any orphaned elephants.

Every dollar helps, and no donation is too small:

$5 provides a full day of anti-poaching patrols.

$7 provides an elephant orphan like Shaba with a bottle of milk.

$40 provides one day of antibiotics for pneumonia, a common ailment in orphaned elephants.

Thanks to the generosity of Larry Ellison and Nikita Kahn, your tax-deductible donation today will be matched, dollar for dollar, doubling your power to turn things around for African elephants.

You can make a difference.