The Jabulani elephant herd are a unique and close-knit family that started with Jabulani, an orphaned elephant who was rescued in 1997, and a herd of elephants that were rescued from Zimbabwe in 2002 – whose fates crossed to form the Jabulani Herd as we know it today.
Over the years, the herd continued to accept wild elephant calves that needed a new family, who had lost theirs as a result of human-elephant conflict.
Together, the elephants spend their days happily roaming and foraging in the wilderness with their loyal carers, many of whom have travelled from Zimbabwe with the herd.
At night the elephants return to the HERD Homestead which lies adjacent to the HERD Orphanage, allowing for close contact with orphans that are still in need of humanitarian assistance during their rehabilitation.
Every member of the Jabulani herd, both female and male, young and old, is an integral part of their unique family. Each elephant has a distinctive character and unique bonds with the rest of the group.
The HERD Orphanage was built in 2019, however, the legacy and building blocks of the orphanage reach back to 2002, when Jabulani, a rescued orphan, was accepted by a unique rescued herd from Zimbabwe.
In 2009, Kumbura was rescued from the borders of South Africa and Botswana and accepted openly by Tokwe, the matriarch, and the herd. In 2016, Timisa, who was rescued by Elephants Alive and brought into our care, was also accepted unconditionally by the herd.
It was in 2019 that the much-anticipated building of the dedicated orphanage took place, creating a space that is ideal for rehabilitation and treatment of orphaned elephants, and built strategically alongside the HERD Homestead – where the Jabulani herd stay overnight.
Khanyisa, an orphaned albino elephant calf was rescued in January 2020, having somehow survived days on her own trapped in a snare. Following her rehabilitation, she was able to integrate into the herd and join them full time.
The orphans receive 24/7 round the clock care from our dedicated carers, while slowly integrating with their new herd at a pace that works for each baby elephant’s needs. They remain in the care of the orphanage overnight until they are fully weaned, or weaned off night bottles, and are able to join the herd in the homestead.
We rely on incredible people like you to keep us going. Every cent counts, and no contribution is too small. HERD relies on public funding to cover the operational costs to care for and support elephant orphans and the rescued herd, so we really appreciate your support.
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