Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP)

GRI’s Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP) offers sanctuary for defenceless abandoned elephant calves, often the tragic victims of poaching and human conflict.  Under the age of three, young elephants are incredibly vulnerable and dependent. Many do not survive without the intricate care and nutrient rich milk from their mothers. At GRI’s Lilayi Orphaned Elephant Nursery these fragile elephants are cared for around the clock – a milk dependant orphan requires special milk formula every three hours.

Elephants - GRI

A team of locally employed, highly trained Carers care for these elephant orphans and watch over them constantly – whether out during their daily bush walks, or sitting close by their stables at night. Together with their new siblings and Carers these young elephants learn to overcome the tragic loss of their natal family, as they browse, play and bathe together in a natural environment.

As soon as the calves can be weaned from milk they are moved to the Kafue National Park to join the older orphaned elephants at GRI’s Camp Phoenix Rescued Elephant Release Facility, where they are more independent of human support and spend most of their time browsing freely in the National Park. This Facility backs onto the ancient Ngoma Teak Forest where there is a 1,000 strong local elephant population, which maximises the opportunity for the orphans to eventually reintegrate with fellow elephants back in the wild

EOP Volunteers will help GRI with a Behavioural Observation Study on the orphaned baby elephants being cared for at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery. This will involve walking in the bush with the elephants, as well as observing them in their boma. Volunteers will receive a short training from the Volunteer Supervisor on identifying behaviours, how to record them accurately, as well as inputting this research data into the database.

This will give volunteers a chance to gain a greater understanding of elephant behaviour and will benefit GRI greatly by helping them monitor the progress of each elephant orphan within the nursery. This research is important in successfully managing each elephant’s journey back to the wild, and creates a longitudinal study that GRI is able to look back on, refer to, and draw data from for years to come.

Studying elephants



Kafue Conservation Project’s (KCP) Community Outreach and Education Programme

This GRI project seeks to empower local communities living adjacent to Kafue National Park to improve their health and wellbeing through better management of their natural resources.

Targeting health, education, food security, sustainable livelihoods and human-elephant conflict in these remote, rural communities, the Programme aims to achieve both development and conservation outcomes.

Supported by a team of experienced field officers, and working alongside the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (NPW), Technical Advisor Jeni Jack manages Community Outreach and Education from GRI’s Mukambi Camp field headquarters, bordering Kafue National Park.

As Community Outreach and Education volunteer Project Assistants, you will assist Jeni and her team with the design, implementation and management of community outreach and education projects. Designated tasks will depend on community needs and the interests of the volunteer, but may include: providing teaching support; report writing; research; preparing lesson plans; photography; delivering health awareness workshops; teaching conservation awareness; facilitating small business skills workshops; training women’s groups in craft-making skills; data collection, entry and analysis; delivering adult literacy classes and assisting with the construction of pit latrines, bee-hives or fuel-efficient stoves. The work is varied and exciting.

Volunteers will spend the majority of their placement at Mukambi Camp in a bush location on the banks of the Kafue River, but will also have the opportunity to visit the Lilayi Orphaned Elephant Nursery, and to work out of Camp Phoenix Rescued Elephant Release Facility in Kafue National Park.

To find out more about GRI’s Volunteer Programme visit and their Facebook page or email to request a Volunteer Information Pack and application form. Please mention that you heard about volunteering with GRI on the Born Free website.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

Share | |