A grazing Khanyisa
Albino Elephant Khanyisa has just turned TWO! And we are very humbled to celebrate this special milestone for her!
She also has tusks!
While we could feel the beginnings of her tusks as hard bulges beside her mouth in August 2020, Khanyisa’s tusks are now visible. She was clearly growing them in secret for some time. It only became clear to us in August that they were growing out when she started to rub the sides of her mouth on hard surfaces, such as the wooden poles in the nursery, more and more. She continues to even rub her tusks against her team of dedicated elephant carers.
The two hard protrusions on either side of her mouth are black at the base and white-yellow at the tip, with about half a thumb of tusk visible externally. Adine Roode, Founder of HERD, South Africa’s first dedicated elephant orphanage, administers regular check-ups on the albino calf in our care, and
also spotted the tiny tusks poking out of their sockets as Khanyisa lifted her head when drinking milk bottles at the orphanage or in the reserve with the bigger elephants
She unfortunately also went through a tough time during August and beginning of September, as she was feeling poorly, drinking less milk and she lost some weight. We had our dedicated and loving Wildlife Vet, Dr. Rogers, come in to do some tests, adjust her diet and monitor her closely! Many of you were very concerned for her as you could see the change in her demeanour. We are extremely grateful to report that she is doing much better. She is on track with gaining weight and she is drinking her milk and grazing happily!
The South African bush is very dry at the moment, and this makes it harder for the elephants to graze and get enough nutrition. It is especially difficult for Khanyisa as she learns to use her trunk in foraging. However, we have had amazing donations of various citrus fruits, gems, and butternuts from local farmers in the area. Our dedicated carers are constantly supporting Khanyisa in her diet, and the milk formula goes a very long way in making sure she gets exactly the nutrients that her growing body needs!
We are so grateful to each donor that participated in the July Bonus Day as well and the Little-by-little campaigns. Your donations have helped us to continue providing milk formula, medicine, vet visits and everything she needs. We continue to look ahead with hope and expectation in our hearts. We also look forward to the much-needed rainy season that lies ahead!
We know that with YOU by our side we can continue on this journey with Khanyisa, and we are so grateful for you.