We still see Pisa as one of the little ones in the herd, even though she has entered adolescence. She certainly stands tall beside her younger family members, integrated orphans Timisa and Khanyisa, but the other elephants (whom she loves to think she is the leader of) have many years on her and show it in their giant statures. Pisa still carries the look of youth, with a rounder head and small tusks, as well as short tail hairs, a trait she shares with sister Limpopo.
In spite of her young age, Pisa is convinced she is one of the oldest, or highest up in hierarchy. She’s the daughter of a Matriarch. Who can blame her? She loves to lead the herd on their walks in the wilderness, and especially around the dam as they head back to the homestead for the night. “This way, guys, follow me,” her confident gait tells the others, as she walks up ahead. As the elephants move from the waterhole to new foraging areas, she can often be seen off on her own, walking her own path through the bushes. That’s Pisa. Happily independent, even proudly so.
That doesn’t mean she’s immune to jealousy. She loves to play with her friend, Timisa and when youngest calf, Khanyisa steals Timisa’s attention, Pisa is not above a kick and a head-butt to try and claim back the attention of her favourite playmate. Khanyisa seems oblivious to Pisa’s attempts and continues to spar and splash with Timisa. Sharing is hard, even for a gregarious and sensitive species as elephants.
Pisa’s older sister, Limpopo is eyeing out the position of Matriarch in the herd, as she learns from her mother’s experience and wisdom. Pisa has many more years to hone her leadership skills and has the best role models inspiring her on her life journey.
Take a look below at Pisa’s fourteen years as we celebrate her birthday this November.
Born on 13 November 2009, Pisa is Limpopo’s little sister, and the second daughter to Tokwe, the Matriarch of the Jabulani Herd. She has great self-confidence and leadership skills like her mother.
Pisa made quite the entrance into the world. While out in the bush, Tokwe went into labour, after showing no signs that she was close to her time. After only one hour of labour, little Pisa was born, and walked back approximately 4kms on one of the hottest days of summer, side-by-side with her mom, which led to her being named Pisa, meaning “Heat”.
Much like her sister and mother, Pisa has a strong, beautiful and athletic body, a slightly pointed forehead, and her tusks are still quite small as she catches up to her big sister.
This year, Pisa developed an abscess that needed medical intervention. Watch the video to learn more about her treatment >