Tusk Trust - Reteti Leaving the Frame

Reteti Elephant Sanctuary

Established in 2016 in the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya, the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is the only community-owned elephant orphanage in Africa.

The goal of Reteti is to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned or abandoned elephants and, where possible, return them to the wild and continue monitoring them. It is also a symbol of the local Samburu communities standing up united for wildlife, in recognition of the many values it has for them.

Although elephant poaching has fallen significantly in the conservancies around Reteti, elephant calves are still sometimes orphaned or abandoned due to poaching, falling into wells, drought (potentially causing mothers to stop lactating), human-wildlife conflict and natural mortality. Around five to ten calves are rescued in northern Kenya each year, from a population of over 8,000. Within the sanctuary, young animals are treated and cared for by the dedicated keeper team, recruited from the local communities. A mobile elephant rescue unit, with specially-trained staff, returns lost calves directly to their family whenever it can, and also works with surrounding communities to raise awareness and mitigate human/wildlife conflict.

Tusk funding has enabled Reteti Elephant Sanctuary to maintain its operations by supporting basic administration, elephant welfare, salaries, rescue costs and milk supplies.

The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is a unique project bringing communities together through a shared respect and concern for wildlife. Helping individual animals in need and supporting the wild elephant population, it fills many important roles in the northern Kenyan rangelands. Like all sanctuaries, it needs consistent funding to continue its work.

Image Credits: © Leaving the Frame

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