At the very heart and center of HERD, you’ll find a very special group of individuals: our Elephant Carers. This exceptional human herd is responsible for the daily care of the Jabulani herd and the orphans of HERD and it is a responsibility that they take on with pride and enthusiasm.

Each and every Elephant Carer plays a significant role in how HERD functions and while unbelievably rewarding, the job is not always easy. Being an Elephant Carer entails long days, time away from family, and a lot of physical work. Orphaned calves require around-the-clock care and an unmatched level of dedication.

The Elephant Carers of HERD meet all challenges and expectations with an overflowing sense of passion for elephants and conservation.

Read on to meet a few of HERD’s dedicated Carers, as they share a few heartfelt words to celebrate the elephants they call family. 

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Elephant Manager Tigere Matipedza began working with elephants at the age of 16 and has gained a wealth of knowledge over the years. Tigere officially started working at Jabulani in 2005 once obtaining the necessary visa and permits, joining his colleagues and the herd, and meeting young Jabulani for the first time. Since then, the pair have formed an incredible bond and mutual respect for one another.

Find out more about Tigere HERE.

Godknows Chivero has been working with elephants since 2003 and has extraordinary knowledge on these great mammals. Brother to Elephant Carer, Blessmore, Godknows assisted in training the elephant carers at Jabulani Safari and has taken a special interest in the young orphans, especially Khanyisa.

Find out more about Godknows HERE.

Colben Mogakane first joined Jabulani Safari in 2004 and soon developed an immense passion for elephants. He has been an incredible asset to the HERD orphanage, providing superb care to the young, displaced calves.

Find out more about Colben HERE.

Joshua Dube has been working with elephants since 1987 and has played a vital role in the rehabilitation and development of a number of orphaned calves. His knowledge and passion have been an immense asset both to Jabulani, since coming over from Zimbabwe with the elephants in 2002 and to HERD.

Find out more about Joshua HERE.

Khensani Ngobeni first joined HERD as a Trainee Carer and has since been promoted to a Nursery Carer. Khensani has a kind personality that truly resonates with the young displaced orphaned elephants that come to HERD. As a result, she has formed exceptional relationships with young elephants and has shown a tremendous level of care.

Find out more about Khensani HERE.

Willinton Mafogo joined HERD as a junior elephant carer in 2021 and fast created a strong bond with orphaned elephant, Khanyisa. Willinton has been passionate about wildlife and conservation since his youth and is an enthusiastic and fast learner. He is also passionate about photography and enjoys taking photos of the elephants and the wildlife that share our reserve. Find out more about Willinton HERE.

We look forward to continuing to introduce you to more of our Human Herd in this ongoing series!

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  1. no idea how and why the -algorithm – showed the the thumbnails about HERD. but now since ore or less half the morning i am watching the films and short clips. it is amazing how trusting these huge animals are. but also how trusting the people are. no -elephant sticks- , no shouting, no commands,nothing. keep well,stay well. but most of all, stay healthy!

Help Save Our Vulnerable Gentle Giants

We rely on incredible people like you to keep us going. Every cent counts, and no contribution is too small. HERD relies on public funding to cover the operational costs to care for and support elephant orphans and the rescued herd, so we really appreciate your support.