Khanyisa the albino elephant calf rescued from a poaching snare has been introduced to her adoptive herd and was welcomed lovingly by the elephants.
Hoedspruit, South Africa (18 May 2020) – Albino elephants are incredibly rare, so when one is spotted, people get excited. Sadly, this beautiful albino elephant calf was caught in a poaching snare. The calf was thankfully rescued and taken to the Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD) Elephant Orphanage to recover.
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 mostly 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!
Khanyisa arrived at the sanctuary at the beginning of January, and it was estimated that she is around 4-months-old. They have worked hard to help her, and she is thriving in their care. She has been doing well but took ill recently. The team who had started introducing her to her new herd, took her back and treated her illness before reintroducing her back into the adoptive herd.
The HERD Elephant Orphanage team said Khanyisa was eager to be reunited with her family.
“She sped out to meet her elephant family, and many of them were quite curious, smelling her all over her body. Klaserie paid some special attention to her in the stables area before we headed out for a walk.
During the walk, Bubi and Klaserie clear some roots and take the sand in their trunks to blow on themselves, Khanyisa watches and learns with every step.
Khanyisa spent a lot of time with Bubi and Klaserie and suckled quite a bit from Bubi. Lundi always keeps an eye and moves in from time to time, but she trusts them with Khanyisa completely.
After a couple of hours, we headed back to the stables, and Lundi said goodbye to Khanyisa alone at the orphanage.
It was evident that the elephants knew she was not well by the continuous sniffing with their trunks around her body and especially where she had the transfusion needles, though we did not get all of that on video.
We are so happy to see her back to her usual self, and we appreciated every special moment watching her together with her new family.”
Take a look at her latest video below. You can follow HERD on Facebook for daily updates about her progress here.