When it comes to raising orphaned elephant calves, friendship and the loving touch of a kind and caring soul is vital for the orphan. The companion sheep of HERD know this to be true and work around the clock to ensure that the young elephants at the orphanage feel safe and warm and cherished. This year, HERD welcomed seasoned companion sheep, Nungu to the family and what a wonderful addition she has been! Nungu is a Dorper Sheep, which is a South African breed of sheep known for their gentle and nurturing personalities. She truly lives up to this reputation and is an exceptionally kind and sweet sheep with a mellow, yet shy personality.

Nungu joined HERD in March 2021 for a well-deserved retirement after filling the role of companion sheep and surrogate mother to a number of orphaned wildlife for many years, including rhino calves orphaned as a result of poaching, and a little zebra named Zeta who was rescued after being found caught in a snare. When Zeta came across Nungu one day while grazing, an instant bond was formed. The pair would spend all day grazing together side-by-side, and the usually placid Nungu showed a fierce protection for her young friend, ensuring that no one came between them.

Eventually, however, Nungu’s motherly love was needed for another orphaned animal and Zeta was paired up with a male zebra. When the pair met again by chance a while later, their special bond was instantly rekindled. This was a great testament both to Nungu’s loving nature and to the powerful bonds that form between companion sheep and the orphaned animals they care for. After years of being an exceptional surrogate mother to young, orphaned animals in need, it was decided that Nungu was ready for some downtime and a faithful companion of her own. She has now retired at HERD, where she spends her days grazing, shoulder to shoulder with her new best friend, Lammie.

Nungu may be retired, but she continues to fill her life’s abundant purpose through keeping the orphaned elephants of HERD happy and loved, together with her wooly partner in companionship, Lammie the Legend. The sheep work as a pair, ensuring that Nungu is able to take her rest and private time as she pleases, secure in the knowledge that Lammie is keeping a watchful eye over their young charges.

Nungu is a quiet, sensitive sheep with a gentle demeanor and an abundance of respect for the animals she shares her home with. She is ever-patient with the youngsters, always tending to their needs and comfort above all else. Nungu thoroughly enjoys having a young calf to keep company but seems quite relieved that Lammie is a bit of a helicopter mom with heaps of energy! This means that Nungu can put her time towards searching for the sweetest patches of grass at the orphanage, as a retired sheep should.

This kind-hearted sheep has been a welcome addition to the HERD family, and we look forward to making her retirement as enjoyable as possible.

Find out more about HERD’s other companion sheep, Lammie, HERE!

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