Behind the cause

Elephants are under grave threat. These intelligent, gentle, and social animals known as Africa's Gardeners - for the role they play in clearing new paths in the bush and dispersing seeds - are being killed for their ivory at the worst levels since the 1980s. Today there are an estimated 400,000 elephants in Africa, down from 1.9 millions in 1979. It is estimated that up to 38,000 elephants are killed annually for their tusks, fueled by an increasingly affluent middle class in China and the Far East where ivory is seen as a symbol of wealth, status, and power. Left unchecked, this could see the whole population of African Elephants wiped out by 2025.

Dedicated to the protection and conservation of wildlife habitats in Kenya, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is working on the front line, in the field, to protect elephants, treat and rescue the victims of the ivory trade, and educate local people on the importance of protecting their wildlife heritage. Today the charity has successfully returned 91 orphaned elephants into the wild.


  • Foster an elephant: As a David Sheldrick Wildlife foster parent, you will receive a fostering certificate that includes a detailed profile and photograph of your adopted orphan. You will also be sent daily calendar entries and monthly photos of your baby elephant. Along with the updates you will be sent a collectable watercolor of your adopted elephant hand painted by the talented Angela Sheldrick.
  • To foster a baby elephant, click here
  • Never buy, sell or display Ivory. To help ban the sales of Ivory in New York, click here
  • Write to your country’s representative at CITES. Go to the "Member Countries" area of the website to find which party represents your country at CITES. Write to them to express that under no circumstances should sales of ivory be legal.