It was an absolute treat to put together this look at Fishan in the role of a “father” for you. Fishan has certainly been through a lot in his life, castrated at a young age due to a serious infection, orphaned and raised by humans, and then threatened will culling in Zimbabwe. He was rescued and made a happy home for himself with the Jabulani herd in South Africa.

Fishan is a father to all, in many different ways… he’s there to be beside Khanyisa and Timisa as they walk a little slower and enjoy playing for longer. He’s there to show Jabulani he still deserves respect and will not be pushed aside. He’s there to temper the growing confidence of Mambo and Zindoga and make sure harmony is maintained in the family.

Born in 1989, Fishan is a sensitive elephant that stresses easily, although his seemingly carefree demeanor often fools one. He is a very protective elephant who helps Tokwe, the matriarch to look after the calves.

Sadly in 2018 he stepped into a deep hole out on the reserve, which was hidden by a puddle of water and fractured his lower ulna bone in his left front leg. While we undertook an incredible feat of rehabilitation to keep him alive and get him back on his feet, walking with his herd, he has developed a limp and stiffer left leg as a result of the injury.

His movement and flexibility seems to improve as time passes and he has managed to keep up with the herd, taking fewer and fewer breaks while walking. He is always sure to go slow or take time to himself, resting or swimming, when he needs to. Otherwise, his injury has brought him closer to the females and little ones, giving him a role in their upbringing, support and protection in an unexpected way. Before his fall, Fishan was second in hierarchy among the bulls in the Jabulani herd, but due to his vulnerability, Jabulani stepped in and took his position following a dual between the two. Read more about this HERE.

Fishan is now in third position, followed by Somopane, but he still makes sure to assert himself around the younger bulls especially. Watch in this video as he intimidates Mambo to reprimand the young bull as he comes to meet Khanyisa for the first time during her gradual integration into the herd last year. Fishan has become very protective of Khanyisa, as he was with Timisa, and he spends a lot of time with Tokwe, helping out, and of course with his closest friend, Bubi. Fishan was the bull who gravitated to Timisa the most from the very beginning that the young elephant orphan was integrated into the herd, and their bond continues to this day.

With the Jabulani herd’s very unique mix of females and males, mature bulls like Fishan allow for the adolescent bulls like Mambo and Zindoga to gain experience and discipline from within the herd, helping them in their own journey. Bulls of Mambo and Zindoga’s age, in a typical wild system, do start to explore independently from the herd, join up with mature bulls to learn and build experience.

As of yet, both Zindoga & Mambo have shown no signs of wanting to explore and wander off on their own permanently. At HERD, our structure is of course different due to the history of the adults and the bonds that have formed with this structure could possibly influence this exploratory nature in he young bulls, delaying it. Should the young bulls decide that they would like to move on, we would manage this change to best suit them and the herd to minimise any impact.

Click HERE to foster Fishan as a special gesture to yourself or a loved one!

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