Phabeni and Khanyisa Need Your Help for World Milk Day!

DONATE A MILK BOTTLE TO: Khanyisa > and Phabeni >

We have walked a tricky path with Phabeni thus far, as the little bull put up a fight over milk bottles, and started to refuse this vital drink. When he did drink, he simply did not finish nearly enough to keep him fuelled and hydrated. We are immensely thankful though that through plenty of effort, experimenting, and constant teamwork with our vets and experts, we have been able to pull Phabeni through, following multiple drips, two blood transfusions, and moving over to goat milk. We have never had to turn to alternatives like goat milk before but this time it was necessary, as Phabeni was so finicky about what he would drink. It does appear that this is simply one fussy baby, with very particular tastes. Fortunately, goat milk with honey and molasses is currently doing the trick.

We are grateful for the advice from other elephant orphanages like Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya, and for the open communication that allows us all to do what is best for each elephant at the end of the day. Elephant orphan calves are so fragile and distinctive in their tastes and needs, and figuring out what works best for each calf at the different stages of their development is often a matter of trial and error.

We will continue to feed Phabeni goat milk but will need to add vitamins and minerals going forward to meet his growing requirements. Khanyisa, fortunately, continues to happily drink all her bottles, as we wean her slowly off them entirely. She will be turning five in September this year – based on an age estimate by our experts, and so will soon be able to rely on vegetation purely for her dietary needs, like the rest of the elephants in the herd. She is thriving, which is such a delight to see, as we know the hard road it took to get her to this stable and strong condition.

So much goes into the care of baby elephant orphans, and raising them through the difficult early years, but Khanyisa inspires us and reminds us that all the hard work, late nights, and stressful mornings are worth it. We couldn’t accomplish our work in rehabilitating and integrating elephant orphans without your support. This is one of the greatest expenses for us as an NPO and one that is so vital. You can help us to give Phabeni the best start to his life, and help us to keep Khanyisa thriving as she builds her new life with her herd.

Thank you for your amazing compassion and support,

Love from all of us at HERD

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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.