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 13 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. 

We need your support to rescue, feed, and care for baby elephants.

Donate Now

Will you help us become like the family these orphaned elephants have lost? 

Together, we can turn things around.

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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 the elephant gets one of eight daily bottles from a keeper.



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.

Save Baby Elephants

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.

Every dollar helps, and no donation is too small:

$5 could provide a full day of anti-poaching patrols.

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

$40 could provide a day of antibiotics for pneumonia, a common ailment in orphaned elephants.


You can make a difference.
rhino mom and baby


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Your gift not only cares for countless animals and plants at the Zoo and Safari Park, it protects and saves critically endangered species around the globe relying on us to survive.

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