As one of our followers said recently, you can have a routine but you never know what will happen in a day to throw that routine out! Nature, or rather the elephants, often have their own plans and in this case it was Sebakwe who was wooed by the lure of a wild bull to roam with, and extra marula fruit to seek out.
Elephant Manager, Tigere explains the event that unfolded, as the team saw Sebakwe heading off with the wild bull into the thick bushes, and were unable to track him to bring him back, as night fell over the wilderness. Fortunately, Tigere woke to find Sebakwe waiting outside the homestead the next morning, where the rest of the herd was, while eating marulas close by with the same wild bull. He must have had quite the adventure or “jol” as we call it in South Africa, meaning a fun time or joyful celebration or excursion, but his herd trumpeted with delight when Sebakwe rejoined them all.
The herd were immensely happy to see him, as were the carers, as it can be very dangerous having an elephant who was hand-reared roaming in a reserve where there are human movements and developments. Sebakwe was orphaned and brought up with humans in Zimbabwe. We don’t know much about his history, nor that of many elephants in the original herd that we rescued in 2002 when they were threatened with being killed during land reforms in Zimbabwe.
But we know they were individuals, not yet a family, and orphans, brought up by humans. This can cause problems if they encounter humans in the wild, as they aren’t afraid of people in the way that other elephants are – in the way that helps prevent human-elephant conflict.