When Khanyisa first came to Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD) in South Africa, they weren’t sure she would make it.
Adine Roode, the founder of the elephant orphanage, received a call in January about an albino elephant calf who had been wandering alone for days wrapped in a snare. Adine was amazed that she had survived that long, but Khanyisa was just beginning to prove how resilient she is!
The poor calf needed special care for her injuries, sensitive pink skin, and bright blue eyes.
Whenever she went outside, her carers held up umbrellas to protect her from the sun. They also had to keep her away from the other elephant residents at first so she had time to heal, but that didn’t stop Khanyisa from greeting them at the fence.
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Clearly, she longed to be with her own kind. In the meantime, her human carers gave her all the love and attention they could. The little one received regular bottle feedings, blue antibiotics on her cuts, and plenty of snuggles!
The tiny elephant also found a surrogate mother in Lammie, a resident sheep. The two of them hit it off immediately and can’t get enough of playing together!
As the months passed, Khanyisa gained weight and grew stronger each day.
Finally, it came time for her to meet the elephant herd! First, she was introduced to Jabulani, and their encounter couldn’t have gone better. It wasn’t long before the other elephants had fallen in love with her too!
Since then, Khanyisa has healed from her wounds and officially joined the herd. Not to mention, she’s inspiring thousands with her story!
“We are so proud of Khanyisa’s little brave heart and determination to survive,” HERD wrote. “Being part of her rehabilitation this far has been a privilege.”
What a courageous calf! Despite losing her original herd and enduring so much pain, Khanyisa’s playful, loving spirit has always come through. Thank you, Adine and everyone else involved, for giving this sweet girl a second chance!
See more of this cutie’s recovery in the video below, and share her story with other animal lovers.
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