International Elephant Foundation

To provide funds and scientific expertise to support elephant research and conservation worldwide


The endangered Asian elephant (Elaphus maximus) once numbered in the hundreds of thousands throughout most of Asia, but today as few as 35 000 remain in the wild. Loss of habitat to the growing human population and the increasing commercial demand for forest-derived products have tragically reduced the range for this species and increased the incidence of human–elephant conflict to an alarming level.


The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is a threatened species that is at risk of further decline outside of protected areas where it continues to suffer from anthropogenic degradation of its habitat, competition for resources with domestic livestock, human–elephant conflict and poaching. Involving local communities in the ongoing work to protect and monitor elephants and raising awareness of the benefits of elephant conservation are critical prerequisites for success.


The mission of the International Elephant Foundation is to support and operate elephant conservation and education programmes both in managed facilities and in the wild, with emphasis on management, protection and scientific research.


The objectives of the International Elephant Foundation are:


  • Provide technical, financial and administrative support for management and protection programmes for elephant species in their range states.
  • Provide assistance in managing protected strongholds or zones in natural habitats.
  • Provide assistance in developing captive propagation and research programmes in countries of origin of the elephant species.
  • Provide assistance in developing captive propagation and research programmes ex situ.
  • Participate in and cooperate with the international captive propagation programme and existing regional organisations.


WAZA Conservation Project 10006 is implemented by the International Elephant Foundation. Leading zoos, institutions and organisations involved include Africam Safari, African Lion Safari, Busch Gardens/Tampa, Columbus Zoo, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Feld Entertainment, Inc., Fort Worth Zoo, George Carden Circus International, Have Trunk Will Travel, Indianapolis Zoo, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Saint Louis Zoo, Vienna Zoo and the Zoological Society of San Diego. Other supporting zoos, institutions and organisations include Abilene Zoo, Albuquerque Zoo, Audubon Zoo, Baltimore Zoo, Baton Rouge Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, Calgary Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Dallas Zoo, Denver Zoo, Dickerson Park Zoo, Fossil Rim Wildlife Centre, Granby Zoo, Greenville Zoo, Houston Zoo, Jacksonville Zoo, Lee Richardson Zoo, Lion Country Safari, Louisville Zoo, Memphis Zoo, Miami Metro Zoo, Niabi Zoo, Nashville Zoo, North Carolina Zoo, Oklahoma City Zoo AAZK, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, Riddle's Elephant Sanctuary, Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Santa Barbara Zoo, San Antonio Zoo, Sedgwick County Zoo, Seneca Park Zoo, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Smithsonian's National Zoo, Toledo Zoo, Tulsa Zoo, Valley Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, Atlanta Zoo and multiple granting agencies.




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