Elephant Dung - a daily snack for Khanyisa!
Every day Khanyisa receives a delivery of fresh elephant dung scooped in the morning from the Jabulani Herd stables. Not to only smell, but to also eat, and she loves it!
Elephant calves are known for this fascinating act, known as "coprophagia", commonly seen not only in elephants but in other animal species too.
Eating their elder's faeces is an essential part of a baby elephant's diet, especially when they start to eat more solids.
Why is Coprophagia a necessity?
Eating adult elephant dung passes on essential bacteria to an elephant calf that assists them in digesting the vegetation that they eat, a bacteria that they are not able to produce when they are so young. The bacteria help break down plant matter in their intestines.
A baby elephant's intestines rely on this extra source of bacteria to help them build up their digestive systems as well as their immune systems too.
Another huge advantage of the proximity of the Jabulani herd to the orphanage is the ample availability of fresh dung for the little ones, from their future family.