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Wildlife: Saving African orphaned elephants

Each year thousands of African elephants are being slaughtered by poachers for the illegal ivory trade. Many young elephants have become orphans.

orphan-elephant

Photo credit: Simon Mania


Baby African elephants are incredibly vulnerable in the first few years of life. Without their mothers, they struggle to survive.

But in the late 1980s, Dame Daphne Sheldrick, then head of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, managed to raise infant baby African elephants for the first time.

Her organisation has now raised over 200 orphaned elephants, Once old enough, they are released into the wild.



Despite their success, it is still a fraction of the number killed each year by poachers across the continent.

Every year in Africa between 30,000 and 40,000 elephants are poached for their ivory, and it’s thought there are only 400,000 left.

The rate of killing threatens the very existence of the African elephant.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/NATGEO Wild/BBC

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