Around this time five years ago, a very special little orphaned elephant began her journey with the Jabulani herd. Timisa was found wandering on her own, on 19 November 2016 with no sign of her herd. Her mother had very sadly died as a result of a severe drought in the area about two weeks before Timisa was rescued. She was rescued by Michelle Henley and her team at Elephants Alive, who aptly chose the name Timisa, which means “Courageous.”

Timisa was incredibly small and weak when she arrived, weighing in at just 216kg at about 18 months old. Her weight gains were slow in the beginning, thankfully, she hadn’t been alone in the wilderness for too long before being discovered, which gave her a much better chance at survival.

Her early days were not without challenges; however, and in March of 2017, Timisa had to have a blood transfusion due to being anaemic. Setombe was Timisa’s blood donor, which was a kindness repeated with orphaned calf, Fenya in 2021.

Due to her age, Timisa was immediately introduced to the Jabulani herd and preferred to be fed her milk in a bucket, rather than in a bottle.

The introduction to the herd was a heart-warming sight, as the elephants trumpeted and surrounded her in a protective circle instantly. Fishan was the first to accept her, followed by Tokwe and soon the whole herd rallied around the little orphan in their welcoming embrace. Tokwe, the Jabulani herd matriarch, took Timisa under her trunk and became her adoptive mother, providing love and lessons on how to be an elephant.

Now six years old and thriving, Timisa has found good friends in Pisa and Kumbura and most recently, Khanyisa! When Timisa first arrived, Pisa (the second daughter born to Tokwe) was not very keen on her. But now the two are the best of friends. She has shown the younger elephants of the herd just how important acceptance and compassion are for this family and has won over all of their hearts, as well as all of ours.

Young Timisa has really taken on the role of big sister with incredible patience, compassion, and enthusiasm. Khanyisa’s arrival has truly inspired a whole new side to Timisa, who now stands taller and with more confidence, embracing the protective nature of her species.

Success stories like Timisa’s would not be possible without the kind support of our wonderful donors and foster parents. Please consider being a part of Timisa’s journey with HERD by fostering here >

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