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Be part of the global effort to protect elephants!

Image Credit: Johan Swanepoel

Elephant Conservation

There are many organizations working to protect elephants and the lands they need to survive. The following organizations have demonstrated a passionate and long-term commitment to the well-being of elephants and other African wildlife.

Small Organizations

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) was founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E. The organization has established itself as the most “successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world.”

I first heard about the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in an article titled, “Orphans No More,” published by National Geographic in 2011. The article inspired me to read “Love, Life, and Elephants,” the autobiography of Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick. The book brought me to tears. I highly recommend it! DSWT has demonstrated an incredible commitment to the well-being of elephants and African wildlife.

You can participate by becoming a foster parent, making a donation, or simply spreading the word.

Amboseli Trust for Elephants

The Amboseli Trust for Elephants was founded by Cynthia Moss in 2001. The organization is an offshoot of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP), which Moss and her colleague, Harvey Croze, began in 1972. For more than 40 years, AERP “has made many important contributions to elephant research.”

I learned about Cynthia Moss’ remarkable work with elephants in her book, “Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family.” This book brings you face to face with the intimacy of elephant life, and fosters an understanding of the emotional depth of these beautiful animals. Cynthia Moss’ commitment to researching and protecting elephants is extraordinary.

You can participate by making a donation, or spreading the word.

Save the Elephants

Save the Elephants (STE) is a research and conservation organization founded in 1993 by Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, one of the world’s leading experts in elephant research. At age 23, Dr. Douglas-Hamilton conducted “the first in-depth scientific study of elephant social behavior. In all, he has devoted more than 50 years to the study of the African elephant.

I learned about Save the Elephants after reading Iain and Oria Douglas-Hamilton’s book, “Battle for the Elephants.” The couple have committed their lives to researching and protecting elephants, and are pioneers of elephant conservation.

You can participate by making a donation, or spreading the word. STE also offers internships.


Image Credit: Save the Elephants

African Parks

African Parks is a newcomer in the African conservation scene. The organization establishes partnerships with governments and local communities to obtain “complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks.”

The other organizations listed on this page focus on rehabilitation and/or research. African Parks is unique in its service, adopting a commanding approach to conservation. It funds the largest counter-poaching force of any NGO in Africa. Its approach resembles earlier forms of fortress conservation, but given the severity of poaching today, their method has been effective in reducing poaching incidents.

I learned about African Parks from an article in Town and Country magazine titled, “Prince Harry Joins a Pioneering Conservation Outfit in the Fight to Save Africa’s Wild Animals.”

You can participate by making a donation, or spreading the word. Please keep in mind where your money is going. For some donors, African Parks is a perfect fit. However, some donors may prefer the other organizations on this page.


Image Credit: African Parks

Save Elephant Foundation

The Save Elephant Foundation, located in Thailand, is dedicated to providing care and assistance to Thailand’s captive elephant population through community outreach, rescue and rehabilitation programs, and educational ecotourism operations.

I learned about the Save Elephant Foundation from the 2012 documentary film, “How I Became an Elephant.”

You can participate by making a donation, or spreading the word.


Image Credit: Save Elephant Foundation

The Big NGOs

Many of the large non-governmental organizations are engaged in elephant conservation projects. NGO donations enable donors to partake in some of the largest conservation projects.

With these larger organizations, it can be difficult to know how your donations are actually spent. However, many people are committed to supporting them.

To learn more about big NGOs and elephant conservation, click on the following icons.


Image Credit:

Banner image by Daniel Holm Hansen

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