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About the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT)

The DSWT was founded by Dame Daphne Sheldrick in Kenya in 1977, in memory of her late husband, David Sheldrick, the famous naturalist and founder warden of Kenya's Tsavo National Park. The DSWT embraces David's vision for the protection and preservation of wildlife and its habitats and undertakes a variety of projects aimed at ensuring a viable future for animals and people, where they might live in harmony.

In 2004 the DSWT established the charity in England and Wales, which works to bring the message of conservation to a wider audience and offers UK based supporters an opportunity to make tax efficient gifts.

The conservation work of the DSWT can be broadly broken down into five main areas:

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Orphans' project

Following the BBC's Elephant Diaries programmes, this is perhaps the best known aspect of our work. Since 1987 we have successfully rescued and hand-reared more than 130 orphaned elephants and 14 black rhinos. This success has been possible thanks to the efforts of Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick and her pioneering work in identifying the husbandry and milk formula needed by elephant orphans if they are to have any chance of survival.

Visit our Orphans' Project - (opens in new window) for more details

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Since 1999 we have undertaken anti-poaching operations in and around Tsavo National Park, Kenya's largest Park, covering an area equal in size to the country of Wales. We currently operate seven fully mobile anti-poaching teams, tasked with removing illegal snares, arresting poachers, and educating and working with local communities to find solutions to the human-wildlife conflict and poaching of wildlife.

Visit the De Snaring Section - (opens in new window) for more details and monthly field reports from the Teams on the ground.

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Mobile Veterinary Support

In 2003 we introduced our first fully mobile Veterinary Field Unit, offering rapid aid to animals injured or in distress in and around Tsavo Conservation Area; covering both Tsavo East and West National Parks, Shimba Hills National Park, Chyulu Hills National Park, Amboseli National Park and surrounding ranches. This unit, with Dr. David Ndeereh has provided veterinary treatment to numerous animas in need, saving the lives of thousands animals, and has aided in the rescue of orphans.

Following the success of our first Veterinary Unit and given the growing need for a similar unit in the Central Rift region, our second Veterinary Field Unit began operations in March 2007. This Unit serves the Maasai Mara, Lake Naivasha, Ruma National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park and surrounding areas.

Visit our Veterinary Unit Section - (opens in new window) for more details and monthly reports with photographs of our two Veterinary Units cases.

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Community Outreach

We recognise that the long term conservation of wildlife depends on the people living alongside wildlife; as people and animals must learn to live in harmony with one another.

The DSWT undertakes a wide variety of community outreach programmes in the areas of Nairobi and Tsavo, working with some of the poorest communities, to bring knowledge and resources to these people. This support is provided in the form of school trips into National Parks for children, who may otherwise have never seen their country's own wildlife, video presentations at schools, and the provision of school books, art materials, sports equipment, desks, and water catchment facilities.

Through this process of support and undertaking with local people, we can better understand the problems they face and work to find viable solutions. Where they learn to value and respect their wildlife and environment and choose to protect it.

More details can be found in our Community Outreach Section - (opens in new window) for more details and monthly reports

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KWS / Wildlife Assistance

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is responsible for all of Kenya's National Parks and acts as the custodian of the country's wildlife. The DSWT supports the work of the KWS, which lacks the necessary funding to fulfil its broad remit to best effect. The DSWT provides fuel for security vehicles in the North of Tsavo, erects electric fence lines along the Park boundaries close to communities, installs and maintains various water pumping windmills, provides water catchment and much more.

For further details visit our Other Assistance - (opens in new window) section

For more details about the history of the DSWT and our work, please visit the About Us Section - (opens in new window) on our main website.

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