How did those little feet grow so big? We’ve been watching them nightly as you lie on your side sleeping that elephant sleep, trunk stretched out in front of you like the branch of a small tree, growing longer too before our eyes. The tread under your soles has deepened with new grooves as you’ve walked further and further with the family you now get to call yours. How one elephant could unite so many people is unbelievable but you were born special. Your albino skin may have made you different to everyone around you but it also made you stand out, and inspire others who feel different to others too, those who have endured the heartache and physical pain you endured. Your little feet have rallied a growing family of elephant lovers as they splashed in your garden pool and avoided those puddles, as they stamped over the lucerne bags and tyre tubes we gave you to keep those muscles working when you were too weak for the wild. Your feet have wobbled and marched and always excitedly carried you to your herd, to your new mother, your aunts, your sisters and brothers, your fathers. Your tribe. They have grown to accommodate your growth. They have grown to remind us that you aren’t that tiny fragile orphan who first arrived. They have grown to carry you on your next journey as you prepare to move out of the orphanage and into the homestead fully. We’ve watched those feet curled up at night on your hay bed, we’ve watched them hug Lammie and try to reach a suspicious Nungu. We won’t always be able to watch their every move, so we’ve been holding the moments we have seen close. Because you’ve been our days and nights, our smiles and tears, since that first day in January 2020. We hope this second chance at life has given you all it has given us. Dankie meisiekind. Tatenda. Thank you.

With love,

We hope you’ve been enjoying Khanyisa Month on our social media, with videos showcasing her incredible journey from a four month old orphan to the heroine she is today! We have been sharing a look back at her best moments with the elephants who love her: fellow orphans, Timisa and Kumbura for instance, as well as the humans who care for her: her carers and Adine! We’ve looked at her rehabilitation, the emotional memories and the joyful clips of her speed wobbles and runs! Thank you for joining us in celebrating life through Khanyisa! This day is for you as much as her! Tune into our YouTube channel for all our Khanyisa Month videos! ­ ­

Watch 100 Sweet Moments with Birthday Braveheart below! All her elephant sweetness in one place!

Can you possibly decide which moment from these is your favourite and the one you remember most?

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  1. beautiful words for darling khanysia…I love the moments with the rake…the mop…and when she is with lammie and Nandi. But I love all 100 moments. will miss her nursery routines once it is time for her to move..but I.know the herd will care for her well. lots of love from Andrea and Poppy xx woof

  2. Very touching and moving words. I’ve enjoyed watching Khanyisa over the years, as she’s blossomed into the confident, young elephant she is today. It’s hard to look back on her difficult beginning, but important to remember the atrocities she faced and conquered, with the help of the entire HERD team. Watching how the entire herd pitches in to care for her and each other, has deepened my respect and love for these magnificent animals. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of her, and the entire herd’s lives.💗

    As a side note: Am I the only person who would love to see a Khanyisa stuffed animal?🐘

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