Target: Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP)
Goal: Thank this team of volunteers for working to ensure the survival of elephants orphaned by poachers
A surge in poaching has left tens of thousands of African elephants dead. As poachers take out entire families, they inevitably leave behind many orphans. More despicably, they are even suspected of targeting baby elephants, torturing the babies to prompt adult elephants to emerge.
An orphaned baby elephant that manages to survive stands little chance of making it in the wild without a mother. Following a brutal massacre in Chad, a surviving orphan ran 30 miles away from the site of the killing, only to run back seemingly in search of his mother. Tragically, well-meaning villagers gave the baby cow’s milk, actually a deadly poison to an elephant’s system.
Here to prevent further tragedies and protect the welfare of traumatized orphan elephants is the Elephant Orphanage Project in Zambia, one of just two such orphanages in all of Africa. The seven-acre homestead is home to a sort of surrogate family of over 5,000 freely roaming elephants, brought together by their natural herding instinct and the compassion of human ‘keepers,’ who keep an eye on the orphans and provide them with nourishing bottled milk formula every two to three hours.
The project gives talks on their elephants and maintains a weekly spot in a community radio show, which has helped raise awareness about their struggle for survival in the poaching-heavy area of Kafue. Strategic positioning of the release area where babies can interact with wild elephants supports revival of ‘one of the most intact wild elephant populations in Zambia’ and helps remind the youngsters that ‘they are, in fact, elephants.’
At a time when poaching is tearing apart our planet’s most majestic community of land animals, please take a moment to recognize the efforts of a team striving to rehabilitate orphaned African elephants. Let’s help them beat the odds.
Dear Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP),
I want to thank you for your work to rehabilitate orphaned African elephants in Zambia. You risk your own lives to rescue them out of dangerous, violent situations. Facilitating their healing so they can grow to be healthy adults, you feed and care for them around the clock and provide them with thousands of acres of land to roam free like they’re meant to do. To ease their reintroduction into the wild, you have placed the sanctuary where the orphans can interact with wild elephants, supporting one of the most crucial populations of wild elephants in Zambia.
At a time when poaching is tearing apart our planet’s most majestic community of land animals, your selfless efforts are an inspiration and a comfort. As it is a struggle to help these traumatized animals recover and to support the nursery itself, the task you have taken on is nothing short of challenging. However, because you never give up on the elephants and continue to generate awareness about your project, you provide hope and leadership to conservation efforts worldwide.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: MarLane via touchpointband.com