Celine Sissler-Bienvenu, Project Director
Globally, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has a holistic approach to animal welfare. One of their key objectives is to rescue and rehabilitate wild and domestic animals and where possible release them into habitats they help to secure. OAT has a collaborative relationship with IFAW in this element of their work and are funding partners on two wildlife rescue and rehabilitation projects in Africa, both involving elephants. The first being the Elephant Orphanage Project in Zambia which is currently rehabilitating 14 elephants for release and the second involving one orphaned elephant calf, Nania.
IFAW’s involvement in the rescue and rehabilitation of Nania in Burkina Faso was brought to OAT’s attention in 2018. Nania was found abandoned in a village located near the reserve of Deux-Balé, a protected area homing between 200 and 300 elephants. The management unit of the reserve intervened, a makeshift enclosure was built in Bromo city and wardens were appointed to look after the orphaned calf. A companion sheep “Whisky” was placed in the boma with Nania to keep her company.
The central government’s intention was to send the calf to the zoo in Ouagadougou. However, when IFAW received the call for help, they agreed to provide the necessary support to give Nania a chance to be returned to the wild and avoid being condemned to a life in captivity. Armed with their extensive expertise in elephant rehabilitation from similar work in Zambia, Zimbabwe and India, they are providing specialised knowledge and keeper training to prepare Nania for life back in the wild.
In February 2019, Nania (and Whisky) were moved from the town enclosure to a purpose-built boma in the national park where it is believed her herd still lives. IFAW believe Nania’s mother may still be alive and in the area, which is unusual for orphaned elephants, bringing hope of their re-unification. OAT agreed to provide ongoing support for the project and hope that one day Nania will return back to the wild where she belongs.
What IFAW does
Globally, IFAW has a holistic approach to animal welfare. Their aim is to rescue, rehabilitate wild and domestic animals and where possible release them into habitats they help to secure.
With regard to Nania, IFAW immediately came to her rescue and set up her rehabilitation programme which they continue to manage.
How Olsen Animal Trust helps
Contribution to annual running costs of the project as one of the key donors
Project Images - hover over for details
Newly rescued Nania
Nania, shortly after being found abandoned in a village located near the reserve of Deux-Balé in Burkina Faso. She was housed in a temporary boma in the village and was initially taken care of by the national park employees under IFAW's expert direction.
Nania with companion & carer
IFAW quickly established a comprehensive rehabilitation process under the personal guidance of Celine Sissler-Bienvenu who spent time on the ground implementing the programme and training local staff. Celine is the Director of France and Francophone Africa for IFAW.
After some months of her early rehabilitation in the village Nania was relocated to a purpose built facility within the national park. Pictured here, Nania enjoying one of her daily walks in the bush.
Nania enjoying a cooling off session with one of her dedicated IFAW carers.
As part of the rehabilitation process carers slowly reintroduce Nania to life in the wild. The mission is that one day she will be reunited with her estranged herd or one that will welcome her into their family.
Featured here with newly appointed IFAW team of carers and Whiskey the sheep, Nania's companion animal.
For further information on the work of IFAW please visit www.ifaw.org/uk