The ZEN project was formed through a strategic public/private partnership between Wild is Life Trust and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZPWMA) in 2013. ZEN has been established to lead the rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned elephants in Zimbabwe. 

ZEN is designed in a 3 stage process


Stage 1: Rescue and Rehabilitation

The first stage is complete and fully functioning. It consists of a specially built nursery at Wild is Life Sanctuary as well as 330 hectares of wild land reserved for the elephants, where they spend each day. The facility has a capacity for up to 10 elephants and is likely to rescue more elephants in the upcoming dry months. 


Stage 2: Rewilding and Reintroduction

The second stage of the project is now being developed. Wild is Life signed a lease agreement with Forestry Commission valid for 25 years in February 2017. The land is 1550 hectares of prime wildlife habitat that forms the Southern boundary with Zambezi National Park. 

Development has already begun with a topographical survey now complete. Water infrastructure is being prioritized currently as well as installation of key infrastructure. 


Stage 3: Release and Protection

As part of ZEN’s vision to protect elephants and their habitat in the long term, the goal is to secure and manage the entire Panda Masuie Forest Area (33 500 hectares). It is at a very critical position, situated in between 4 different Protected Areas namely Zambezi National Park, Kazuma Pan National Park, Matetsi Safari Area and Woodlands Estate. 

The securing of the area will safeguard critical elephant habitat, provide security for elephants and increase connectivity between populations by establishing a safe corridor between protected areas. 


Through an intensive rehabilitation process, every elephant that comes into our care receives specialized attention. Our well-trained team is equipped to rescue elephants from some of most remote parts of the country and our specialized milk formula allows us to hand-rear milk dependent orphans.

Learn more about our animal husbandry techniques.


ZEN is currently rehabilitating 6 orphaned elephant calves. Each individual elephant has a unique story and we take tremendous care in nourishing the wellbeing of each individual. We take great pride in providing a holistic approach to animal welfare integrating the best of welfare and veterinary care possible. 

Meet our elephants 

Our focus is maintained on the INDIVIDUAL needs of every elephant calf.

Our comprehensive principles serve as a foundation for our actions as the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery. These principles are actions that are steeped in;







Our nursery is a facility of security and comfort in which an elephant calf can express his or her natural, physical, social and cognitive behavior, to the fullest extent.


  • To assist ZimParks with their elephant conservation initiatives, by providing material support, where possible.
  • To raise awareness for African Elephants though the ambassadorial role that calves will play in their early lives.
  • To provide conservation and wildlife education to the international and local public, through visits to the nursery and through the media
  • To generate funds to assist projects involved in anti poaching and veterinary outreach of wildlife in Zimbabwe.
  • Research into nutrition, physical development and hand rearing of African Elephant calves.
  • To provide positive, flexible, nurturing care that seeks to fully recognize and understand the individual needs of each elephant calf.
  • To provide an environment and facilities in which the calves are encouraged to learn so that they may lead a natural and wild life in the future.
  • To provide work practices for the caregivers and handlers that are safe, secure and fulfilling.