Lundi is the next female elephant we are celebrating for the week leading up to Mother’s Day in South Africa on 9 May! We invite you to take a little look at her journey in motherhood, as a mom to Mambo and an adoptive mother to Khanyisa.

Named after a river in Zimbabwe, Lundi was born in around 1989. She is one of the original elephants that were rescued from Zimbabwe.

Lundi was chosen as the mother to Khanyisa, to be the ultimate elephant mother figure for Khanyisa to bond with, as Tokwe the Matriarch was very busy with the other youngsters, and Lundi had proven her excellent mothering skills with Mambo and allomother skills with the other calves that have grown up around her.

Lundi gave birth to Mambo on 29 August 2009 and the bull has certainly been a handful growing up, with his own bold and mischievous demeanour. Lundi is very attached to him, even as he has become more and more independent and as Lundi has taken on her role with Khanyisa. In between being a multi-tusking mother, Lundi still loves to treat herself to mud-baths and tree rubs!

Her role in the herd is so valuable. She accepted Khanyisa with grace and love and in no time the two were always side by side. As an orphan herself, like the other rescued elephants in the herd, her ability to accept and welcome another orphan was truly heart-warming and so poignant.

She took Khanyisa in as one of her own from the start, letting her suckle from her and teaches the little calf all about life and the wilderness. She is always ready to protect and support Khanyisa with her whole will, whether standing over the baby at the waterhole to protect her while drinking in the shallows, or swimming right alongside her to make sure that she is safe.

She has helped show Khanyisa, just as she did with Mambo, how to dig for bulbs, which plants to eat, how to shower in the sand and she has guided the calf across vast stretches while walking through the bush each day. What wonderful secrets they must share!

Lundi really is everything a mother needs to be: loyal, reliable, encouraging, supportive, protective, playful, mentoring… And she makes sure to call on her allomothers to help her with the task. Her role in Khanyisa’s life has no doubt helped the calf to overcome (as much as possible) and heal from being caught in the snare, and abandoned and orphaned as a result.

Lundi is one of the easiest elephants in the herd to identify, due to the tears in her right ear that have been there since she arrived in our wilderness. Elephants develop these tears in their ears over time from all kinds of causes: pointy branches or jostling with tuskers, whether in friendly sparring or serious battles. Lundi is of medium height and has fairly short tusks.

Bring her into your family by fostering her HERE, and helping us to cover the costs of protecting, sustaining and supporting her and her rescued herd.

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