Appeal: Help us protect the next generation of Asian elephants

Mother and calf negotiate a perilous railway Photo: Biplab Hazra
Mother and calf negotiate a perilous railway Photo: Biplab Hazra

Please help us provide a safe place for wild elephants

Across Asia wild elephants are facing a network of perilous man-made obstacles. Railways, roads, irrigation ditches, wells and low hanging power lines are claiming the lives of wild elephants every day, including precious calves - the vital next generation that will ensure the survival of the species.

In India, the recent rescue of a tiny calf from an open water tank illustrated just what can be achieved when a community is well-informed. Leaving the distressed calf's rescue to the Forest Department the infant was successfully reunited with his herd.

But they are not always so lucky. Little Raja fell into an irrigation ditch when his herd was chased from a farmer’s field. Eager to return him to his family he was corralled and man-handled by well-meaning villagers. Although the herd returned twice - they always return for a family member whether old or young or sick - it is thought Raja no longer smelled much like an elephant to them. The Forest Department even rubbed the infant with elephant dung, but still he was rejected.

Keeping a young elephant calf alive is not easy. Round the clock milk feeds and a dedicated keeper are no substitute for the warmth and protection of a mother, aunts and cousins. And, despite the efforts of the rescue team, sadly Raja did not survive.

Despite given the best care, Raja did not survive his separation from the herd Photo: Roger Allen
Despite given the best care, Raja did not survive his separation from the herd Photo: Roger Allen

Elephant calves remain dependent on their mothers for up to six years.

And as Raja's story illustrates, keeping herds safe in the wild maximises the chances of their survival.To help keep them safe during those critical years Elephant Family works to:

  • protect elephant habitat; ensuring there is space for elephants along with a plentiful food supply
  • replenish areas where elephant fodder is scarce; reducing the dependence on farmed crops
  • connect ancient migratory routes so that elephants can move safely between food and water sources
  • educate local communities on how to live harmoniously with wild herds
  • cover open wells and repair low hanging power lines
  • support experts working to soften the impacts of linear infrastructure development on elephants across Asia


The best place for an elephant calf is in the wild with its herd.

Please help us make it a safe place to grow up and to protect the precious next generation of this awesome species.