Shawu II is an orphaned elephant that lives at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in Limpopo and uses a blankie when ever it is feeding time.
Shawu II was found wandering alone near the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) in Limpopo about a year ago. He was taken in by the centre and nursed back to health. The home is only a temporary one as he will be able to return to the wild very soon.
HESC introduced a blankie to Shawu II to help encourage him to eat. The blanket emulates Shawu’s mother and helps him realise it is feeding time. The blanket (one of two) gets hung in a tree and then the young elephant lifts his trunk against it and begins to drink.
Shawu II really loves his blankets but as he is now 120kg and growing rapidly he is growing too old for these crutches. The centre is slowly weening him off the blankie technique.
“Now because Shawu is getting so big and the day that he will eventually leave the centre is getting closer, we have to start getting him used to the bush.
“We have now removed the blanket from his daily bottle feedings – so that he can get used to eating without it.
“He is being fed in different spots.
“This is all to prepare him by getting him used to different locations and environments,” – Lente Roode, founder of HESC.
Shawu II has a friend that goes on bush walks with him. Lammie the sheep is the resident foster mother in the centre and has the responsibility of keeping the animals company. One day soon Shawu II will be released back into the wild where he belongs. Until then, here is another picture of him with a blankie he loves.