Hunting Snare

Khanyisa is an albino elephant that was caught in a poaching snare, she was rescued and moved to South Africa’s first elephant orphanage, now her story helps educate and raise awareness.


Hoedspruit, South Africa (30 January 2020) – Albino elephants are incredibly rare, so when one is spotted, people get excited. Sadly, one beautiful albino elephant calf was caught in a poaching snare. The calf was thankfully rescued and taken to the 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!

“The unusual family structure of the Jabulani Herd, the majority of which are orphans themselves, presents a unique solution for orphaned baby elephants in Southern Africa that vitally need to find a second herd to ensure their emotional wellbeing and survival.”

The orphanage is now home to a beautiful little albino calf named Khanyisa. Khanyisa was found trapped in a hunting snare and was severely injured. She had attempted to pull herself free, but the snare only tightened around her.

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.

“This little girl is so unbelievably brave. The odds of her survival have been stacked against her from birth; she was born as an albino, she then endured excruciating pain trapped in the jaws of a manmade snare, and left to fight for her fragile life for an unknown amount of days. We can only try to comprehend the amount of pain she felt, how scared she felt, was her herd with her when it happened, was she alone? And how hot and thirsty she must have been. How could she possibly survive?

It is clear to us now; it is her spirit; she is a fighter. Her spirit is strong.”

Take a look at how she is settling in below. We cannot wait to watch her grow and join the Jabulani herd when she is ready.


View this post on Instagram


Update on our patient, Albino elephant calf, Sunshine. This morning marks day three since her arrival; the next two posts will provide an overview day one and day two. Thursday 9th January – Day 1 – Part One: Her first day, she seemed energised, which may well be from the adrenalin of all the events that had taken place and her new surroundings. Over the years, we have learned not to get too excited when we see this energised activity, as it is not an accurate reading; they are dealing with a lot of emotions and physical challenges. It takes a considerable amount of time to gather a true reflection of her wellbeing. . Feeding her was a little more complicated than usual due to her mouth injuries, but on day one, we managed to find the correct angles for feeding her successfully, without too much discomfort. Overnight she vocalised quite a bit, as did the Jabulani herd. They can smell and hear there is a new baby in our care. . She was very eager to investigate in the morning, and she wondered straight over the dividing fence to meet her future family. We will never know the depth of their communication, but they communicated. Tokwe, the matriarch, and the Herd were exceptionally calm and peaceful. . The orphanage is located alongside the stables of the Jabulani herd. We separate them to be able to monitor the health and wellbeing of each baby elephant’s physical health, stress levels and emotional wellbeing until we feel the time is right to continue with the integration process to their new family. . During that day she explored the orphanage, under the protection of sun umbrella, held by her carers. Albinoism, much like that in humans, means her eyes are super sensitive to sunlight as is her skin. It was a sweltering day, with temperatures reaching 41 Degrees (Celcius). . Lammie, the sheep, kept close by to her new friend, but Sunshine had not paid too much attention to her until later in the day, where she was then a little rough with her, but Lammie took it in her stride. Their bond will take some time, and Lammie knows it. She is so incredibly patient. Day 1 Part 2 to follow shortly… #Babyelephant #albinoelephant #elephantorphanage

A post shared by HERD Elephant Orphanage (@herd_elephants) on


View this post on Instagram


SPECIAL MOMENTS BETWEEN INJURED ALBINO ELEPHANT🐘, KHANYISA AND HER ELEPHANT CARER, HERMAN💗. . Today was another positive day for Khanyisa. She drank a decent amount, though once again, it could have been better. She took good naps and spent special time with our carers. Her wounds are not healing as fast as we would like, but we know it will take time. Thank you to everyone who has sent so many suggestions for healing, we are very grateful, and do discuss with our veterinarian team where possible. . Adine managed to snap some special moments between Khanyisa and one of her awesome carers, Herman, whom she spent some quality time getting to know today. . Hoping for another good day tomorrow. Every day counts. . Khanyisa’s story for those that are only following her story now: . On Monday, 6th January, a female albino elephant calf, estimated to be four months old was found trapped in a horrific snare. Her wounds indicated she had been trying desperately to free herself for a few days, as they were deep and maggots had started eating into the decaying flesh. She had severe lacerations around the back of her ears and neck that stretched around her mouth, slicing into both her cheeks and into her mouth. There was no sign of her herd anywhere. The team that found her took her into the care of @careforwild while our team at HERD got our paperwork ready to transfer her to our province. She has been in our care since Tuesday 7th January. She’s an incredible little elephant. . . #love #Khanyisa #albinoelephant #babyalbino #herdsouthafrica #everyelephantneedsaherd #hoedspruitelephants #elephantorphanage #southafrica #kapama #conservation #limpopo #animallovers #hoedspruit #elephantconservation #animalovers #elephantsofinstagram #elephants #elephant #pinkelephant #babyelephant #elephantcalf #elephant🐘 #elephants #elephantlove #elephantlovers #everysingleelephantcounts

A post shared by HERD Elephant Orphanage (@herd_elephants) on


View this post on Instagram


Yesterday was a good day for Khanyisa, she was very active and happy. She spent a long time playing in the dense foliage surrounding the orphanage, which she loves to do! . Her wounds are mostly improving and she is becoming more playful and confident by the day. Her quality of sleep has improved and she drank more than the day before😃 One of her favourite activities is to play with sand as well as tackling the small apple-leaf trees😂🌿🌿. . Dr. Rogers visited briefly yesterday and gave her an iron injection and he will return on Friday to stitch the wounds behind her ears. . We love this little video that our carer Gary shared with us! She’s just full of beans! . . . #EleKhanyisa #herdsouthafrica #albinoelephant #babyalbinoelephant #albinism #everyelephantneedsaherd #hoedspruitelephants #animallove #elephantorphanage #southafrica #animallovers #elephantconservation #albino #animalovers #elephantsofinstagram #elephants #elephant #babyelephant #elephantcalf #elephant🐘 #elephants #elephantlove #elephantlovers #everysingleelephantcounts

A post shared by HERD Elephant Orphanage (@herd_elephants) on

You can help by fostering an orphan, find out more via their website here.

Sources: HERD Elephant Orphanage / Instagram
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens or share your good news with us by clicking here
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:
Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African. 

Facebook Comments

Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *