Orphaned Elephant - Khanyisa
Khanyisa gets her name from her unique appearance as an albino, meaning "Light" or "Sunshine" in the local Shona language. Adine and the team also loved that it rhymed with Timisa, another orphan previously taken in by the Jabulani herd in 2016.
As an albino, Khanyisa is more visible in the bush, and thus susceptible to attacks by predators. It also means that she is more sensitive to light and can suffer health problems associated with genetic mutations. In spite of this, she continues to be a ray of light since coming into our care at HERD, on 7 January 2020, as a four-month-old calf.
Khanyisa had been found trapped in a snare with severe injuries. The wounds indicated that she had been trying desperately to free herself for a few days. She had severe lacerations around the back of her ears and neck that stretched around her mouth and cheeks. There was no sign of her herd anywhere.
She was first taken into the care of the team at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary in Mpumalanga, where their veterinary team attended to the calf's wounds as our elephant care departed from HERD to assist. Adine Roode (founder of HERD) applied for the necessary permits to transfer her from Mpumalanga to Limpopo ahead of joining them for the transfer to HERD.
Since arriving at HERD, Wildlife vet Dr. Peter Rogers has continued to assist us in attending to Khanyisa's wounds and running check-ups and fluid and vitamin administrations.
From the beginning, she settled in quickly at HERD, with Lammie, our loyal resident companion sheep. Feeding her was more complicated than usual due to her mouth injuries, but the team managed to find the correct angles for feeding her successfully, without too much discomfort.
She was eager to investigate the Jabulani HERD living in the stables beside her from the get-go and wandered straight over the dividing fence to meet her future family. For now, she is separated from the greater HERD so that the HERD team can better monitor her health and wellbeing.
Khanyisa continues to improve each day. Her wounds are healing, her eyes are brighter and more alert, and the swelling around her head has reduced. It is due to the work of the HERD team and Khanyisa's carers, Adine Roode, the wildlife vets, Care For Wild, Provet Wildlife Services (and of course Lammie), that she has continued to go from strength to strength.