The Orphans sculpture

Come and visit the elephants of tomorrow

The Orphans is a sculpture exhibit featuring 21 life-size bronze elephants, a mother and 20 orphaned elephants, each orphan symbolises a real elephant currently in the care of the SWT, displayed in the centre of Marble Arch, London from 4th December 2019, for one year. Created by internationally acclaimed artists Gillie and Marc, the sculpture aims to raise funds and awareness for this next generation of elephants who will grow up into the healthy and supported elephants of tomorrow thanks to the SWT.

The Orphans come to Marble Arch

Bringing elephant conservation to the heart of London and into the minds of the millions able to visit The Orphans sculpture - together we can secure a future for the elephants of tomorrow.

4 December 2019 – 4 December 2020

Marble Arch Lawn. Entry is free.

From Kenya to the heart of London, our sculpture ‘herd’ arrived in London on 4th December, where they will reside for the next 12 months. You can come and meet the 21 life-size bronze elephants and get to know the real-life orphans that have inspired the twenty orphans, who stand around a central mother figure. Each sculpture includes the name of the orphan they symbolise and an interactive information board, enabling you to read the unique rescue story of each elephant and directly support their rehabilitation journey. To help create awareness of our work in the rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned elephants, so that we can save more lives, we encourage you to take photos when you visit and to share these on your social media accounts using the hashtag #ElephantsOfTomorrow

The Artists - Gillie and Marc

The exceptional Gillie and Marc create some of the world’s most innovative public art, spreading messages of love, equality, and conservation around the world. Their highly coveted sculptures and paintings can be seen in art galleries and public sites in over 250 cities.

They hope that The Orphans will bring the plight faced by elephants today to the forefront of people’s minds and hearts as they ask us to consider how our actions will affect their survival.

The elephants of tomorrow

This is a sculpture that represents more than orphaned calves. This is a yearlong celebration of hope and strength for the generation who will grow up into the healthy and supported elephants of tomorrow thanks to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The future of their species in the wild relies on this young generation being strong. Strength we can all help to provide. Because by December next year, when this sculpture leaves London, they’ll have only 19 years left to defy the odds with another generation to follow. This is a sculpture for positive change. One we won’t let become a memorial.


A victim of the climate crisis, Maisha was found collapsed near a water hole during a prolonged drought. It is likely she became separated from her herd after she became too weak to keep up with the search for food and water.

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Enkesha nearly lost her trunk in a poacher’s snare. Emergency veterinary treatment saved her trunk and her life and she’s now being cared for at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Nairobi Nursery.

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Swahili for heat, Jotto was found stuck in a well during the hottest month of the year. He would have surely died had he not been found by local herdsmen and brought to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

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Sattao is an orphan who was found alone in 2017, covered in bite marks from a predator attack and dreadfully thin. He was only three months at the time. He is now safe at the Nairobi Nursery and made a full recovery.

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Maktao is a suspected orphan of human-wildlife conflict. He was starving and terribly dehydrated when he arrived at the Nursery, hungry for milk and fluids. He’s very rambunctious and will one day return to the wild when he is ready.

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Our herd

We are currently caring for more than 90 orphaned elephants, each with their own unique story of rescue and personality. All need specialist care and love to thrive, so they can enjoy a life in the wild when grown.

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Support the #ElephantsOfTomorrow

Your donation will ensure the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust can be there for elephants. Protecting those living wild and providing the rescue and rehabilitation for the babies left orphaned, so that they can return to a life in the wild when grown.

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