Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea: Adopt an Elephant!

On December 17, 2013 by Oren and Cassie

Never thought about adopting an elephant, did you? I think elephants are some of the most fascinating animals in the world, and I could watch infant elephants play for hours. Unfortunately, many elephants are left without a mother at a very young age. Poaching is a serious crime that continues to grow in Africa, as the demand and the price of ivory skyrocket. Poaching threatens the existence of many animals, including elephants, rhinos, gorillas, lions and zebras. They are being killed for their ivory, horns and skin.

elephant-crossing

The elephants return from Nairobi National Park.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust works not only to fight against poaching throughout Kenya, it also provides a safe place for the country’s orphaned elephants and rhinos until they can be released back into the wild. At the orphanage, they’re given food, medical care, and love.

Here’s a look at their orphanage in Karin-Nairobi, Kenya:

To date, the organization has raised more than 150 infant elephants. They have been able to do this through donations. Instead of just giving money, people are able to “adopt” an elephant or rhino for one year through the Orphans’ Project. It costs $50 and the person adopting the animal receives a folder of information about the elephant. Then he or she gets monthly updates about the elephant and how it’s being cared for.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust currently has 70 elephants between their sites. If you’d like more information on adopting a baby elephant or rhino, click here.

elephant-baby

This is the orphanage’s youngest elephant at only 2 months old.

Forget the Playstation, kids think it is the coolest gift ever! My nieces adopted an elephant named Barsilinga.  His mother died of bullet wounds in the Samburu tribal area when he was two weeks old. He’s now 21 months old and healthy. They also adopted a rhino as a Christmas present for their cousin, Alexander, who lives in Canada. Now, Alexander keeps saying he can’t wait to visit Kenya so he can check in on his rhino!

-C.K.

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