World Elephant Day: inside Kenya’s indigenously run sanctuary for orphans

World Elephant Day: inside Kenya’s indigenously run sanctuary for orphans

Established in 2016, the Reteti sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates young elephants so that they can be reintroduced to the wild. It is the first to be owned and run by an indigenous community

In the mountains of northern Kenya, a Samburu community has built a sanctuary for orphaned elephants. Reteti is the first indigenously owned and run sanctuary, which rescues and raises the orphaned elephants, and has the ultimate goal of reintroducing them to the wild.

The sanctuary isn’t just about saving elephants but about breaking down stereotypes and redefining wildlife management. It is the beginning of a transformation in the way the Samburu people relate to wild animals. This oasis where orphans grow up, learning to be wild so that one day they can rejoin their herds, is as much about the people as it is about the elephants.

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