When KumThere is a South African proverb that says: Orphans mourn for each other.
In the local language of Sesotho, it is, “Mafutsana a llelana” and it means that people who are poor, troubled or disadvantaged in some way help each other because they know the pain.
This couldn’t be more true for Bubi, who is an orphan herself. She makes sure that the orphans around her are comforted and protected so that they never have to feel alone.
Bubi is a complex elephant, who has been through hard times of her own. Her ability to still open her heart to other elephants in need is remarkable to watch. From her own son, Zindoga to her adopted allo-daughters, so to speak, like Khanyisa, Bubi is a dedicated, supportive and consistent motherly figure in the herd! Take a look at her integration with Khanyisa in this video!
Born around 1993, Bubi had a tough start to life in Zimbabwe.
She lost her mother to poachers, so was orphaned at a young age. She was part of the original herd that was rescued and brought to South Africa. Bubi gave birth to her son, Zindoga on 25 October 2007. Bubi gave no sign of being pregnant, nor did she show any pre-labour signals. Overnight she gave birth to a young elephant calf.
Bubi is a natural ‘mother’ of the herd, nursing other calves beside her own, not only Khanyisa but in the past also Mambo, Kumbura and Timisa.
She has a tight bond with Khanyisa and loves to have the calf to herself, to make sure she receives what Bubi possibly believes to be the best care and protection out there! When the other females are gathered around Khanyisa, Bubi tends to back off, but as soon as she can she will hover around the calf and step into her allomother role again.
Bubi is short for her age, compared to the other elephants in the herd. She has the longest eyelashes of the herd and shorter tusks that are uneven. The left tusk points slightly downwards, while the right tusk has developed slightly higher than the left, and faces more outwards.
If you would like to foster Bubi, please click HERE and help us care for and protect her with her growing family.