Wildlife Rescue


minutes - the average time it takes to free seals from nets.

See the challenge
Untangling Seals

The data says stranded dolphins can rejoin their pods.

Learn more
Innovative Research

We rescue, rehabilitate and release baby elephants back into the wild.

See how
Raising Elephant Orphans

Animals need help.

Our rescue teams save animals, one by one, anytime, anywhere. On the beach and at sea, we use every rescue as an opportunity to study the ocean’s most elusive species. And back on land, we rescue wildlife who’ve been orphaned, displaced, or caught in a disaster.


percent of known right whale deaths due to entanglement since 2010


big cats held captive in inhumane conditions in the U.S.


percent decline in African savannah elephant population between 2007 - 2014

From hurricanes to oil spills to earthquakes, the threats facing wildlife are too large and too complicated for people to ignore.

Photo: IFAW
Rescue, Then Research

Across six continents and three oceans, we deploy rescue teams wherever animals need help. And since we can’t save every animal, we invest heavily in training our partners and preparing local communities to step up when animals need them most. Survival is a team effort.

Our Marine Mammal Rescue and Research teams use every distress call as an opportunity to advance what we know about sea life and how to help it thrive. It’s a continuous cycle—and it’s saving lives. For instance, against widespread consensus, our years of data proved that individual stranded dolphins deemed healthy can reintegrate back into their pod. What’s more, we’re getting better at this: in the 1990s, we successfully released 1 in 10 rescued dolphins. Today, it’s 3 in 4.

Washburn, a wayward manatee that IFAW rescued in September 2016 is carried by the team. IFAW worked with partners at Mystic Aquarium, the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Coast Guard to move her to short term rehabilitation before she was ultimately returned home to the warm waters off of Florida’s coast. Photo: IFAW
Make a Home

When animals are no longer safe where they live, we help them find a new home. For example, without the necessary space or nutrition, big cats in captivity are often just barely alive. That’s why we relocate lions and tigers locked up in roadside zoos or backyards to one of the verified big cat sanctuaries in North America. Meanwhile, half-a-world away, our Beijing Raptor Rehabilitation Center has rescued and released more than 4,000 birds.

A rhino calf is bottle fed at the IFAW Wildlife Rescue Center in India. Photo: IFAW
Raise Orphans

When animals are orphaned, their survival is an open question. We step in to answer, providing the nurturing that all orphans desperately need. From elephants in Zambia and Burkina Faso, to rhinos and bears in India, our orphan-rescue teams attend to these animals’ physical and social needs. We take them for walks, feed them, socialize them, teach them how to survive, and even watch over them as they sleep. It takes years, but when they’re ready, we help orphaned animals get back to the wild, where they can start their own families.


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