Albino Elephant Calf brought into our care at HERD.

August 7, 2019

Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development have received a four-month old severely injured baby elephant into our care on Tuesday 7th January 2020.

She is an albino.
And she is a miracle.

On Monday morning, 6th January 2020, we received the call from wildlife vet, Dr. Albertus Coetzee advising us that a baby elephant had been found trapped in a snare with severe injuries and had been taken into the care of the fantastic team at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary. She was stable, but her injuries were extensive.

Our elephant care team remained on standby 24/7 and within the hour, Juan, Joshua, and Khensani left our orphanage for the three-hour drive to the Care for Wild facility. Adine arranged the necessary permits in the interim ahead of her joining our team.

Petronella and her veterinary team did a great job attending to the calf’s wounds and giving her the essential care that she needed. That night Joshua, Juan and Khensani stayed through the night nursing her, until Adine arrived with wildlife vet Ben Miller from Provet Wildlife Services who would assist us with the transfer of the calf to the orphanage. The little one seemed in good spirits and fighting strong! We felt she was able to make the journey safely to HERD.

By 7 PM on Tuesday, we arrived back at HERD, our veterinary team and elephant care team attended to the little one. She settled in quickly and even spent time outside with Adine and her carers last night. Of course, we made sure Lammie was there ahead of her arrival.

Wednesday morning she woke up, she had a decent night sleep and was very curious about her surroundings; she remains strong. But the reality is her journey has just begun. The real challenges start now — the emotional stress, and how that will affect her bodily activities, the severity of her injuries, anything can change at any moment.

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.

Adine decided to name her Khanyisa after seeing her unique beauty in the light of the morning’s sunrise. 

A special thank you to Petronella and her team at Care For Wild for being part of Khanyisa’s journey to recovery.

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