In this new morning video, at the orphanage, Khanyisa gets plenty of love tickles and tummy rubs as she explores the garden before her day with the bigger elephants.
Elephants love to rub their skin against rocks or trees to scratch an itch or for a body massage. The rubs from her human carers provided Khanyisa with all the affection and comfort she needed in her early days and now, as she prepares to enter a new phase.
We would love to have her join the herd overnight soon, and to start weaning her very gradually off her nighttime bottles, but we are also aware that winter is around the corner, with colder weather coming in about April and May, and winter settling in in June and July. Colder weather affects the health of younger, more fragile elephants and we certainly want the very best for Khanyisa as she continues her integration.
She arrived at HERD as a much younger elephant than other orphans, Timisa or Kumbura did, at only four months of age, and with severe wounds, compared to the other orphans. As a result, her integration process has been much longer but we are immensely glad to have gotten her through the tricky younger years as she now edges closer and closer to turning 3 years of age in September this year.
She has developed beautifully and in all the ways we hoped she would, mentally, physically, emotionally and in her elephant skills, adaptation to the wilderness and her new herd. We’re grateful for your company on this journey as we continue to help Khanyisa get to her next milestones and look forward to the day when she is no longer an orphan, but a fully accepted herd member!