Somopane is an incredibly endearing and fascinating mature bull and his role in the rescued herd as a “father figure” is very much cherished and of great value to all around him. He shares his area at the stables and garden in the elephant homestead with Bubi and her son Zindoga and you can really see their bond deepening when out walking in the reserve – Somopane can often be found close to Bubi.
Enjoy some beautiful moments with Somopane in this video, including with Khanyisa during her integration, Timisa, Kumbura and the bulls, Zindoga and Mambo, both in the water and out.
With his strength in mediation, Somopane plays an important and calming role in herd. In terms of the dominance of the herd, Somopane is in the fourth position. His focus seems to lie much less in sparring and showing off like some other bulls, and more in mediating, uniting and pacifying all the members of his unique herd. A quality greatly needed in every family!
Before Fishan’s accident, it was Somopane who spent nights with Tokwe and the young elephants but after Fishan needed some more TLC and moved to join the youngsters, Somopane took up residence with Bubi and Zindoga and as always seems to have adapted beautifully.
He enjoys his own company but also that of the other members in his herd and plays a valuable role in disciplining and teaching the young bulls, Zindoga and Mambo. He has been incredibly gentle and accepting of all the orphans integrated into the herd, namely Jabulani, Kumbura, Timisa and Khanyisa.
Somopane is named after areas where Mopane trees grow and was born around 1987, making him about 34 years old. He originates from Zimbabwe, and was one of the original herd that was rescued, and brought to South Africa. As with the rest of this herd, we do not have details of his early life, but believe he too was an orphan.
Somopane is one of the taller elephants of the herd, has a slender body, and thick tusks. We consider him to be the most intelligent elephant of the herd. He is very confident, and comfortable in his skin, not having to prove himself to others. He is also an excellent mediator, often preventing the younger males from entering into fights.
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