What it Takes to Care for Baby Elephants: #6 Funding
We are so grateful to the kind hearts that donate toward the vital work of HERD, South Africa’s first dedicated elephant orphanage, helping us to save, rehabilitate and rewild orphaned elephants.
From day one, many of you reading this have stepped in to assist - to be useful, honourable and compassionate and to make a difference. You have not only done so for the lives of orphans like Khanyisa and elephants like the Jabulani herd, but in our lives too, as the carers, the managers, the entire team at HERD! We are constantly blown away by your generosity, whether through our campaigns, ad-hoc donations or recurring foster sponsorships.
We can't all donate financially, but the support of even people spreading the word about HERD and sharing uplifting comments and messages with us, has been a constant source of inspiration and an incredible show of the compassion of people even oceans away!
But funding is essential and has become even more so during the COVID-19 restrictions...
We rely on public funding to remain operational from month to month.
Monetary funding is crucial for the daily operations of our elephant orphanage, especially during the orphans' critical formative years and with the potential long-term financial impact of caring for a fully-grown elephant if reintegration into the wild is not feasible. These potential reintegration projects would include the need for new land which will add additional costs to HERD.
Shelter, support and sustenance
Because of their high intelligence and complexity, elephants are very different to your usual wild animal. Their needs are diverse and nuanced and require a special kind of management, one with heart, soul and respect as well as milk and medicine. When a rescued orphan comes into the orphanage, it is traumatised and in many cases dehydrated, sunburnt and possibly injured, making their needs even more critical and demanding.
Funding goes toward meeting these needs, which include our essential and sizable team of dedicated elephant carers, who assist in 24-hour-shifts to ensure that the little ones are never left alone, as well as to the baby elephant’s milk formulation, which is exceptionally delicate and requires extra nutritional supplements as the animal grows, as their mother’s milk would change naturally through the weaning stages and evolving needs.
As we work closely with the Jabulani herd and Jabulani team, with the orphans being integrated into the herd and cared for by carers at HERD and Jabulani, there are other arenas that come into play - in supporting the financial cost of a dedicated and experienced care and management team, who look after the reserve and elephants. Jabulani launched the Jabulani Elephant Carer Crisis Fund to assist with these needs during COVID-19, with tourism coming to a stand still!
Every cent counts, and there is no contribution too small.
If you would like to play a role in giving elephant orphans a second chance at life, you can donate to HERD or opt to foster a baby elephant - for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, giving them the joy of supporting elephant conservation.
Thank you again to each individual, family and company that has helped us in our journey to rehabilitate and rewild elephant orphans, through donations and fosterings! You have hearts of pure Sunshine!