Baby elephants in Zambia will be keeping warm this winter, thanks to specially tailored horse rugs this winter.

Equestrian company Horseware Ireland has donated the rugs to an African elephant orphanage.

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) — a wildlife conservation charity — made a plea last summer for people to donate horse rugs to keep elephant orphans warm this winter.

DSWF was “overwhelmed” by the response, and in particular by the rugs made by Horseware Ireland with extra space at the neck to fit the orphans.

“We are delighted,” said Rachael Murton of the Elephant Orphanage Project, which is supported by DSWF.

“And the elephants at the orphanage are very please to have them!”

DSWF helped establish the first elephant orphanage in Zambia in 2008 and it now has two sites — a release facility in Kafue National Park and a newly opened nursery facility in Lilyai, close toZambia’s capital Lusaka.

As ivory poaching increases, the number of baby elephants orphaned when their mothers are killed is also on the rise.

For more information visit www.davidshepherd.org