What it Takes to Care for Baby Elephants: #5 Teamwork
We've introduced you to the elephant carers at HERD who have the very important role of looking after the orphans and their rehabilitation and integration into the Jabulani herd. A full and demanding job! But there is a greater team at work and that is essential to the goal of raising baby elephants orphans.
The HERD Team includes not only Carers, but our respected Elephant Managers, Tigere Matipedza and Owen Dube, who have been instrumental in the success of the Jabulani Herd's wellbeing. These two men oversee and manage the integration process of the orphaned elephants into the Jabulani Herd.
Our human team also consists of Adine Roode, HERD Founder and Leader, Operations Manager & Senior Curator, Schalk and Juan, and wildlife experts and vets, like Dr Rogers, that we call on from time to time. But in addition to the people on the ground, you need people who don’t deal with the day-to-day caring of the elephants to form part of your team.
These are the people who strengthen our operation, who form part of our back-of-house.
These are the individuals managing financials, media and communications and fundraising who play a part in the larger orphanage management plan and included a few faces from the Jabulani family since the orphans and herd are so entwined.
The Importance of Sharing our Stories
Our media team are the ones behind-the-scenes, transforming Adine and the Managers in the field's images and videos into social media posts and blogs and YouTube clips, to better share and disseminate the daily happenings at HERD, with the orphans and the Jabulani herd. This is vital for many reasons.
For one, we believe in the power of education and awareness in helping to enlighten individuals to understand and care more about wildlife, and in particular elephants, and to shine a light on the devastating effects of poaching and snaring. Through our consistent and in-depth social media communication, we are able to better show the importance, intricacies, quirks and unique beauty of elephant conservation.
Sharing our tales with the online world is also important as we aim to always be transparent. To create sustainable, responsible mechanisms that engage with people around the world. We hope to not present any kind of one-sided view of elephants and conservation, to not always only show the triumphs, but rather the truth of it, for the sake of honesty but also to create a shared place of learning and love. (But more on our ethics in another blog!)
Our online engagement also assists in the ever essential goal of fundraising to enable us to support and sustain the development of elephant orphans in our care. Our social media, marketing, fundraising, sales and financial teams are vital therefore to the running of the orphanage and are in constant, direct contact with the team on the ground to stay up-to-date with each new development - from weight-updates to integration progress - so to better communicate with our followers, donors, fosters, and supporters.
We are a family, just like the Jabulani elephants, diverse but united.
And our co-operation is based on a common goal: to care for orphans and give them a second chance at a herd of their own.
We are grateful for every pair of hands and eyes in our team, and the love and support that each member brings to the smooth and successful running of HERD for the sake of Africa's displaced and orphaned elephants. While this is certainly a unique taskforce, it's a diverse and talented group driven by a genuine desire to protect our vulnerable species.