The Fatherly Figures in Khanyisa's Elephant Family
Happy Father's Day!
What better opportunity than to highlight the male elephants that currently play a role in Khanyisa's new life with her new herd, the Jabulani Herd.
Each morning Khanyisa joins the Jabulani herd as they depart at sunrise to forage out on the reserve, as part of her gradual integration process into the herd. In our updates, she is mostly surrounded by the females of the herd, who provide her with much love and affection, while closely protecting her.
However, in the not too far distance, there are strong and caring bulls (males) that protect and guard her against danger from afar, and each with their unique qualities. The older bulls of the herd pay more attention, namely Jabulani, Somopane, Sebakwe and Fishan.
Jabulani played a significant role in Khanyisa's life from the beginning. He visited her through the fence on most mornings, and it was with this relationship that Adine decided first to introduce Khanyisa to Jabulani. Perhaps it was his own story of survival against the odds, much like Khanyisa's that took his interest. He too is an orphan that was rescued in 1997.
Since the integration, and now that Jabulani can see that she is accepted, he has taken a step back, but always keeps a close eye on the little one, quickly by her side if in any distress.
Over recent weeks, there have frequent moments shared between Khanyisa and the dominant bull of the herd, Sebakwe.
We do not doubt that he makes Khanyisa feel extraordinarily safe and out of harms way in his immense presence. He is a true gentle giant and so protective over his herd.
Somopane is such an easy-going elephant bull and known as the mediator/peace-keeper of the herd. He is very close to Bubi, sharing his stable with her and her son Zindoga.
He is extremely reactive to any sounds of distress or disturbance and will be the first by Khanyisa's side if something goes wrong. He was most present out of the bulls during the earlier integration stages in the stables, keeping a little closer than the other bulls.
Fishan is a remarkable elephant. In 2018, he broke his leg, and with a lot of love, patience and extensive treatment, he survived, and today walks with a bit of a limp. During the months that he was unable to walk into the bush, he joined Tokwe in her stables with the younger elephants, namely Timisa, Kumbura, Pisa and Limpopo, as they would give him lots of love and attention in the evenings, to make up for his days without them.
Fishan has not spent that much quality time with Khanyisa, possibly because he is often a bit further away from the herd browsing during the day, and also a bit slower than the herd with his affected leg. But he plays a significant role in the lives of Timisa, Kumbura (both orphans), Pisa and Limpopo, so we felt he deserved a mention for that today too.
We continue to look forward to the months and years ahead, as Khanyisa's relationships with each of the bull strengthen, and they take on their significant roles in her new life with the herd.
Happy Father's Day from all of us at HERD