1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage

by Wildlife Conservation Trust
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1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts for SA's first Elephant Orphanage
1000 Hearts - THANK YOU
1000 Hearts - THANK YOU

To our wonderful and kind 1000 Hearts Club! 

 

We are delighted to announce that we have reached our 1000 Hearts target. Our GlobalGiving campaign helped us considerably, together with some of our online campaigns. 

YOUR contribution helped us pay for the first phase of the first elephant orphanage in South Africa, and enabled us to rescue and rehabilitate orphans like Mopane (RIP) and now Khanyisa. 

With the arrival of Khanyisa, an albino elephant calf that was severely injured from being stuck in a ghastly snare for several days, we have a new challenge on our hands, and that is the funding for her ongoing care and veterinary bills. 

So as we close this campaign, we have started another campaign to help us raise funds for her care; please consider donating towards her journey: 

"HERD - Baby Albino Elephant Khanyisa's Fundraiser"

Once again, a sincere THANK YOU for being part of our 1000 HEARTS journey. If your donation was USD80 or over please do get in touch with us with the name you would like to be displayed on our 1000 Hearts wall/board of gratitude. 

 

You can email fundraising@herd.org.za with the information. 

 

With heartfelt gratitude, 

Adine and the HERD and WCT Team

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Gone but Never Forgotten
Gone but Never Forgotten

It is with great sadness that we share the sad news about orphaned elephant Mopane's recent passing. 

Our Founder, Adine Roode, made a statement which we felt we should share here with our Global Giving supporters:

"All of our hearts at HERD - Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and DevelopmentJabulani Safari and Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre have been shattered into a million pieces. It is with incredible heartbreak and disbelief that I share the news of Mopane's sudden and unexpected passing a few days ago.

I still pray that somehow this is a nightmare that I will wake up from each morning, but I know that is impossible as I was there.

I was there when Mopane collapsed on me with his trunk on my shoulder as I held his head high to try to help him breathe easier; I had no idea what was happening. I looked down and saw blood and foam coming out of his trunk. My heart sank to my feet.

Tigere alerted me to in the early hours of the morning that Mopane was not well, I rushed down to the orphanage to find Mopane struggling to breathe. We notified our vet, Dr Rogers, to get to HERD ASAP.

We all could see that something was seriously wrong; Mopane had been extremely healthy and happy; this did not make sense. By this time I had Tigere, Owen, Stavros, Tichoana, Joshua, Schalk, Juan, Samson, Hermien, Reply, Khensani and Listen, all trying to help me keep him alive. We tried CPR for nearly an hour; my team and I would not give up. We stayed focused and refused to lose him, but we felt his little life slowly slipping away from us. Dr Rogers arrived and confirmed our worst fears; little Mopane had left this world and our broken hearts behind.

WHY? HOW? WHAT?
We had been preparing to share the exciting news of his introduction to the Jabulani herd! He was in such a happy space. This simply should not be happening 

Wildlife Vet, Dr Peter Rogers, advised from the initial autopsy that it seems likely that Mopane contracted a Virus called Encephalomyocarditis, which may have been passed via traces of rodents urine on some of the dry feed such as lucerne. As we had been experiencing drought, we have had to source extra food from various suppliers, where we suspect the contamination may have originated.

We are waiting for the final lab results from the autopsy specimens to have a better understanding. Dr Roger's words during the autopsy bring me a lot of comfort during this challenging time, he said: "You can see he was a happy chappy. He has no ulcers, and his adrenalin gland is small, which indicates that he was not stressed." Sadly there is no cure for the virus as of yet, and it is incredibly acute. Nature can be so cruel, and we live by her often harsh ways.

Mopane arrived at his new home at HERD in August. We were all so excited as we transported Mopane in a trailer across the reserve from HESC to HERD. Of course, Lammie the sheep, his best friend, joined him as she plays an integral part in his life.

Sadly, we were unable to announce anything about his arrival at HERD (which has been SO difficult) as the permit for orphaned elephants were still under the name of HESC. Although our local authorities came to inspect our facilities and were very impressed, their head office also needed to visit; which further delayed the process.

In an ironic twist of (cruel) fate, at a time when we can finally start sharing Mopane's daily adventures, he is no longer with us.

Over time, I would still like to share the significant moments of his precious time spent here at HERD with our followers. It was amazing to walk this path with Mopane and to see him growing up so happy in the new orphanage, and the success of our gradual integration process with the Jabulani Herd.

Mopane went on daily walks out in the bushveld, he played and became a bold and brave young elephant bull. He loved having the Jabulani Herd so close by; it gave him comfort. For a length of time, they did not have direct contact; but they had a full view of each other, and they continually rumbled and talked. He would wait for them to pass the orphanage, and they would stop and smell him as they did. Tokwe, the matriarch and Lundi would come every evening as close as possible, with their trunks high, smelling and rumbling. They communicated and became accustomed to the presence of each other.

We had started his direct introduction process with the Jabulani herd this month. It was incredible just how peaceful and calm their first interaction was, though I chose to have half of the herd present at the time. But that is something that we will share with you on another day.

Mopane was like my son. He arrived so small, weighing just over 70kg; and over the past two years, we have played together, cried together, sat, slept, walked, ran together, splashed and even wallowed in dams together.

His wonderful carers share my sentiment and have devoted endless hours, making sure Mopane got the best care. Thank you to my team for the love you gave him.
Thank you to the followers, your love and comments even from a far distance keep us all going, and his legacy too.

I am going to miss you, my Moepa, we are all going to miss you. Thanks for putting a smile on our faces when you came running, and you see your happy feet and ele-trunk swaying. I know that one day, you will sit on my lap again.

We will never know what Mopane's full story would have been, but I feel comfortable to say it from my heart, that it would have been a successful and happy one with the Jabulani herd.

We are trying to pick up the pieces of our broken hearts, but we will not stop here. I am so proud of the orphanage we have built and the team by my side. Although we have lost Mopane to something out of our control, he has helped us all believe that we have created the perfect space for a little elephant that needs a second chance at life. Nothing will prevent us from carrying on with HERD.

I want to thank every single person that has supported Mopane's journey both financially and emotionally; please know how grateful we all are.

We put together a video of Mopane's time with us at HESC and HERD and most importantly his amazing progress at HERD which we were so excited to share with you. We will continue to do so going forward, in his beautiful memory."

Adine Roode
Founder - HERD.

We have attached the video tribute link to this report. 

A special thank you to our donors who fell in love with Mopane as we did. 

Our journey continues, and we remained prepared for any baby elephant that needs a second chance with a new family. Mopane showed us that our vision worked, and he has motivated us to keep our work going. 

Our 1000 Heart Journey continues. We currently have 731 hearts donated for our project goal (this includes other platforms too), so we are almost there! 

Thank you for all the love and Support 

Adine and the HERD Team. 

Mopane looking strong and happy
Mopane looking strong and happy
Forever in our Hearts
Forever in our Hearts
Adine and Mopane
Adine and Mopane

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Orphaned elephant, Mopane
Orphaned elephant, Mopane

It is always a pleasure to write a report for our Global Giving supporters! We hope that sharing our updates and the progress of our project gives you great joy knowing that you are helping us make it happen.

We have raised $9444 in our 1000 Hearts Campaign over the past three months which equates to approximately 118 'Heart' Donations of USD80 each from Global Giving supporters. Therefore Global Giving supporters account for 45% of the HEART Donations received thus far, (Thank you!) with our grand total standing at 260 Heart Donations.  Our goal is to reach 1000' Hearts.' 

The decision was made to relocate the current orphaned elephant project at Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) to a new custom-built orphanage called Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD) located next to the stables of the Jabulani herd, which is just an hour drive away from HESC.

The Orphanage will be a well-controlled environment with the sole purpose of caring for elephant orphans and maintaining minimal foot traffic which is important to an elephant calf's delicate nature.

The positioning of the Orphanage to the Jabulani herd will offer baby elephants controlled access to the adult elephants, and our highly experienced team will be able to oversee the process of the integration into the herd.

The building consists of three 'nurseries' (bedrooms), each with a section for their dedicated carer to sleep at night, as well as an individual play area leading onto a large communal garden and dam.
 
The Orphanage is currently in its final stages of preparation, and we look forward to welcoming Mopane, an orphaned elephant in the care of HESC to his new home soon. Thus the staff are on the move and organizing the new grounds to make sure everything is ready.
 
His current elephant carer trainees at HESC will be moving to HERD with Mopane. He will also have lots of familiar friends in the Jabulani elephant carers who have been supervising his care at HESC with the HESC head curators too.
 
Thank you to everyone who has followed and contributed to this project; we physically could not do it without public funding. Please help us reach our goal of 1000 Hearts.

Please help us and spread the word with your loved ones and friends, or perhaps even consider donating another heart on behalf of someone special in your life. Be part of this essential new development for elephant conservation in South Africa. 

Yours in Conservation
The Wildlife Conservation Trust and HERD Team. 

Leading into one of the nurseries
Leading into one of the nurseries
Signage
Signage
Orphanage building, Jabulani stables in distance
Orphanage building, Jabulani stables in distance
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Organization Information

Wildlife Conservation Trust

Location: Pretoria - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Trust_Wildlife
Project Leader:
Adine Roode
Pretoria, South Africa

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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