Khanyisa walking with her herd
It is always a joy to write a report about Khanyisa for our wonderful GlobalGiving supporters!
And this is our first for 2021 too!
The past month we have been revelling in Khanyisa's "achievement" of one full year of rehabilitation and integration since she was rescued on 7th January 2020.
If you have missed it, you can read more in our BLOG and our VIDEO looking back at the past year, relooking at her journey since she was rescued from the snare, to where she is now in her rehabilitation and integration with the Jabulani herd.
Recently we have seen a bit of slow weight gain for Khanyisa and ran some blood tests to check if all is okay. The results showed a lack of iron and so, we have adjusted her milk formula to assist with increasing this. You can read more about it in our LATEST BLOG. She is estimated to now be 17 months old and weighs 294KG.
Khanyisa's relationships continue to strengthen with all of the elephants, but the four females (cows) that continue to stand out in her immediate circle are Lundi, her adoptive mother, Bubi, her favourite allomother (nanny), Kumbura and Timisa.
Lundi is very protective and supportive, yet does tend to carry on with her day and her activities as she did before, and often at a high pace. When she is out in the wild, Lundi likes to move around a lot and spends a lot of time wandering between areas. But if she senses the slightest of threats or dangers to Khanyisa, she will be right by her side in a heartbeat. Khanyisa also follows her closely if they are walking far distances. It is very sweet to see.
Bubi has really won Khanyisa's heart with her patience and love with her. She will spend a lot of time in one area which Khanyisa prefers, so you often see updates of Khanyisa with Bubi in the bush for that reason. Bubi has stepped up to the plate as an allomother to fill in where Lundi needs help. This includes allowing Khanyisa to latch on to her teat for the emotional comfort it provides the little elephant.
Kumbura is the best big sister that Khanyisa could have wished for. It is rare that you will see Khanyisa without Kumbura in close distance. She constantly has her in her eye's view and Khanyisa is so comfortable with her. Kumbura was rescued in 2009 and it is clear that her intense bond with both Khanyisa and Timisa, both orphaned too, is due to their hard experiences, and a sense of protection over them.
Timisa is the sweet bigger yet younger older sister (if that makes sense!) Being younger, and not too much bigger than Khanyisa, allows Khanyisa to be more playful and more cheeky with her. But Timisa gives it back, but in such a playful manner that makes our hearts melt. No doubt they will be best of friend sisters forever.
But the ultimate best friend any orphaned elephant could every want for is definitely Lammie (the Legend). Lammie has provided Khanyisa with love and happiness and pure unconditional friendship from the day she arrived at HERD, and it shows in their special relationship.
Many people ask about Khanyisa's milk intake. We will continue to provide Khanyisa with 2 litres of special milk formula every 2 hours, ten times a day. This will continue until she is weaned at approximately 4 years old. So it s a lengthy commitment with an ever-changing formula, adapting to her ever-changing needs!
We have a record-breaking amount of rain on the reserve, and so the land is looking lush and green and the elephants are thriving in it. Just a few days ago, we received 40mm of rain in 40 minutes, and the elephants had hours of fun wallowing in the aftermath of mud-heaven.
Your contributions to HERD help ensure that we can continue to focus on the work we know best - elephant care! So thank you for your kindness, and continuing to support us.
May 2021 be kind to you and your loved ones.
Tokwe, Kumbura and Khanyisa January 2021
Khanyisa and Lundi, her adoptive mom
Timisa, Khanyisa and Lundi January 2021
Timisa and Khanyisa June 2021