Zimbabwe elephant orphanage

In western Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls region a 34,000 hectare protected area and camp for young orphaned elephants’ rehabilitation and rewildering has been established since 2013. The rehabilitation is a 3 to 5 year process where each individual elephant is given specialized care dependent on their specific individual needs. When they grow into healthy adolescents they begin a process of learning to adjust to a life back in the wild again…

Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, Panda Masuie, Zimbabwe

Text by Andrea Jeska

Brigitte magazine 2019

Brian and Erinson bringing the herd back to the camp at early evening after the elephants browse the bushes during daytime

The compound

Goodwill, elephant-handler

Rangers Moussi and Victor employed by the municipality to protect the herd from poachers and to secure the area

This young orphaned female elephant was missing a good part of her trunk when found, probably due to poacher’s traps installed for ivory trading

A retaining dam was built for the elephants to take a bath when it becomes too hot in the afternoon

Forest at Panda Masuie area as seen from above

The herd is taken care of by the keepers during all day, though more adolescent elephants are wearing radio trackers on their neck

Moussi, anti-poaching ranger

Elephant calves are feeded with a specialized formula milk once a day

Africa currently has a population of about 450 000 elephants, according to IUCN. African Elephants are facing possible extinction within the next 20 years due to an upsurge in the global ivory trade. The crisis is driven by demand for ivory from a rapidly growing and increasingly affluent middle class in China and South East Asia, where ivory is regarded as investment.

Staff working on water supply facilites close to the camp

African gym...

Victor, anti-poaching ranger

Panda Masuie area

Moussi, anti-poaching ranger, inside her tent

Brian, elephant-handler

Dirt road through the forest to access the camp

Erinson, elephant-handler, at his bedroom inside the camp

Field work at the compound

Preparing the barn at early morning

Nearby Victoria Falls

Approaches to the rewilding...

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