Photo Credit: HERD - Facebook

Young orphaned Fenya was found after weeks of trying to free herself from a poachers snare, the elephant was on the brink of death but thankfully, is starting to recover and make new friends.


Hoedspruit, South Africa (05 March 2021) – HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Developement) recieved a call that they would be receiving yet another elephant orphan that was a victim of a poacher snare. The team prepared themselves for another painful journey of recovery with a scared young elephant.

Just over a year prior, the team welcomed an albino elephant into their herd named Khanyisa. Khanyisa was also found entangled in a snare. That journey prepared them to deal with the young elephant that was about to be dropped off at the centre.

The young elephant arrived at the HERD centre and it was immediatly evident that she was in need of help beyond the wounds left by the snare. The vet could see she had spent weeks trying to free herself from the snare, causing her unimaginable pain and weeks of endless stress.

The snare that caused all the heartache and pain for Fenya

The young elephant was named Fenya and for her first nights at HERD, she slept standing, ready to flee at a moments notice. Thankfully she began to trust the team and after two nights, let herself fall asleep laying down.

This marks the start of her journey to freedom and trust in humans. Her ordeal will stay with for many years to come. She is slowly making a recovery and a few friends along the way.

Fenya has had a few scary moments, her deep wounds only part of her recovery. Fenya had spent what they assume is two months slowly starving, unable to feed herself due to the snare. Now at HERD, she is being fed a special milk formula, delicious tree bark, apples and so many other treats to help fatten her back up.

The team started to slowly introduce Fenya and Khanyisa the albino also orphaned due to a snare.

“Khanyisa started to hang around outside Fenya’s (the new calf in our care, who like Khanyisa, survived being caught in a snare) nursery, the day after she arrived. But she seemed a bit shy.

The next day Joshua took a moment using a marula fruit and guided her towards the door opening where Fenya was standing behind. She poked her sweet little pink trunk through the hole and was met with another curious trunk! The trunks danced around one another briefly, and then Khanyisa entered the nursery.
They were both extremely calm and relaxed and Khanyisa stretched her trunk over to her to smell her. Adine and the team let them be, keeping it relaxed and easy – and soon Khanyisa decided it was time to leave.

Over the next few days, Khanyisa has slowly become a bit more comfortable with her new neighbour. Some mornings she makes an effort and others not so much! But you will see some very sweet moments shared between them, and Lammie too!”

Take a look at the moment Fenya and Khanyisa meet for the first time. Both will have their scars for life but hopefully, their journey to recover will mean they can be friends for life now too!

Fenya has taken to feeding herself in the mornings, holding her bottle herself. She has so much to learn still and each day will be a battle but like her new friend, Fenya will draw support from those around her and recover more each day. Fenya is a fighter!

We spent most of the morning reading through her time at HERD and cried big, belly sobs at what she has had to endure in her short life so far. Her story may be hard to read for some but it highlights just how devastating snares are for the animals caught in them. There is no dignity in that death, it is slow, painful and deeply unneccisary.

If you happen to be in a space where wild animals roam and you spot a snare, report it immediatly or if you are able, cut it and remove it from the area.

Fenya journey is just beginning so if you would like to follow her recovery, you can do so via Facebook here.

Sources: HERD
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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.

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