Khanyisa Baby Elephant Tusks
Khanyisa, an albino elephant calf rescued after being caught in a poaching snare, is seen at Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD) sanctuary, near Hoedspruit, South Africa, May 23, 2021. REUTERS/ Sumaya Hisham

This beautiful Ellie has captured South Africa’s hearts, and reaching this milestone is really good news for Khanyisa!


Hoedspruit, South Africa (03 June 2022) – Not so little Khanyisa is now topping her scale at 600 kgs – 1322 pounds!

Like a story straight out of a Disney movie, this little innocent baby elephant – completely rare in her colour – was found severely injured and alone. Her situation was incredibly dire, and her future was uncertain. But with a lot of care from humans and love from a herd of orphaned elephants, Khanyisa is growing from strength to strength.

Not-so-little Khanyisa, South Africa’s famous rare albino elephant orphan, was found at just four months old by the team at Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD), but that was in September 2020, and since then… the Ellie has shown us the true strength of character.

The HERD Elephant Orphanage is the first of its kind in South Africa. It is vital to have wildlife orphanages as poaching is rife in South Africa, and often calves are left to fend for themselves after their mothers have been poached. The orphanage was established near an adoptive herd. The Jabulani herd at the Kapama Private Game Reserve is mainly made up of orphaned elephants. The herd has been welcoming to any orphaned elephants that have needed a family structure. Elephants rely heavily on their family structure, so having an adoptive herd is excellent!

But baby elephants require around the clock care and much of the orphanage’s work includes monitoring Khanyisa’s milk formula – its effect on her growth, wellbeing and health, and how it needs to change to frequently adapt to her growing needs.

As most of the ingredients included in her milk formula are imported from overseas, the price per milk bottle makes her formula one of our highest expenses, but the team are currently working with experts to produce this locally.

“We’re excited to be working to create this local version as it will reduce costs somewhat but also reduce the number of tins and packaging that need to be recycled or that often ends up in landfills.”

Currently 2 years of age, turning 3 in September, Khanyisa will remain milk-dependent until about the age of 4-6 years of age, but they will start the weaning process by reducing nighttime bottles first so that she can stay overnight with the bigger herd.

Sources: HERD 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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