We hope you enjoyed watching the introductions between Phabeni and the members of the herd, with all the nail-biting action and reactions, the heartwarming and tender moments, the funny back-kicks and tusk-pokes, and the few complete surprises! It was a journey in itself, and one that was very important to ease Phabeni into the herd, and to ensure no stress to the herd or the little calf meeting them. But a new beginning is here now, as we are able to move on to showing you the next step… into the wild, with Phabeni and the whole herd.

We move now from the orphanage to the bush, where Phabeni takes milk bottles in the company of the elephants in the wilderness, and joins them for all-day walks. Since this little bull is much stronger than Khanyisa was at his age, without the wounds or affects of snaring to contend with and overcome, he has been able to take on full day walks quickly. He has familiar comforts around him to help him adapt, such as his bottles delivered by his carers and the presence of the elephants he has bonded with.

Setombe has clearly taken on the responsibility of being Phabeni’s mother, having adopted him right off the bat. Lundi did not contend with her for the role, and it was very clear to all of us that Setombe had her heart set on this little bull from the start. It has been so special to witness this new side of Setombe and we are excited to watch her have her moment in the sun! It is natural for older females to birth new babies every few years, and so perhaps Setombe simply felt ready for her turn to be a mother again. Klaserie is staying close too, still very connected to her mother.

Enjoy these moments of transition, from milk bottles in the orphanage to bottles in the wild, with all the elephants around to watch over Phabeni, and help our team raise him. Thank you for caring about this new calf at HERD and following his journey into a new family.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I am going into a nursing home and can no longer afford my gifts to herd. How do I decline my contributions?

    1. Dearest Billie, thank you so much for reaching out and for your amazing support over all these years. We are so grateful for your part in the elephants’ journey. We wish you the best for this new move, and hope you will be able to continue to follow the herd’s stories on YouTube.

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.