Orphaned Baby Elephant Gets Emotional Greeting When She Meets Her Adoptive Family For the First Time

A baby albino elephant who got caught in a snare for 4 to 5 days thankfully survived and has been welcomed into a loving herd. Adine Roode, founder of Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation & Development (HERD), said Khanyisa, the pink elephant with blue eyes, was near death when they received an emergency call.

They brought Khanyisa to their special nursery for orphaned elephants. She didn’t have a good prognosis so they quarantined her so her wounds could be treated and they could bottle feed her. The very next day, the baby elephant walked right over to Adine. Adine immediately called Khanyisa her “Little Miss Sunshine” and Khanyisa ran right away over to the herd of elephants on the compound but because of her wounds, Khanyisa would have to wait for her introduction.

Khanyisa got healthier and healthier thanks to her inner strength and the loving attention of her caretakers and Lammie, a temporary surrogate. Soon, Khanyisa was well enough to meet with her adoptive family, the Jabulani herd.

HERD shared the wonderful moment that she was taken out to meet the herd for the first time and what a greeting she gets!

“Khanyisa has gone on to meet with the herd. Here’s a video of her meeting them,” HERD wrote on the YouTube caption. “Khanyisa received such a powerful and emotional greeting from the Jabulani herd when she joined them in the bush.”

The elephants trumpet with joy and rush over to the orphaned elephant. “It was an incredible experience to capture this greeting ceremony, as they rushed to welcome Khanyisa,” HERD continued. “The intense trumpeting, roaring and array of very expressive displays happen all at once, including head raising, urination, defecation, spinning, secretion from their temporal glands, amongst other behaviour.”

They added, “During the excitement, Khanyisa is caressed by many loving and protective trunks as her family surrounded her lovingly…It was a fantastic display of excitement, happiness, love and protection for little Khanyisa by her unique and accepting family.”

Khanyisa also has an adoptive mom in the elephant named Lundi. Every time the baby elephant spots Lundi she runs over to her.

Khanyisa now spends most of her time with the other elephants in her new family but that doesn’t keep her from sometimes running back to visit her old orphanage home and visit with Lammie. Naughty elephant!

It’s been three years since Khanyisa’s rescue and she is thriving with her new home. HERD’s mission is to care for and rehabilitate orphaned elephants. They give them a new family. “We are South Africa’s first dedicated elephant orphanage, built near to the close-knit Jabulani herd, on the Jabulani grounds, so to easily integrate each baby elephant with a greater support structure and according to their individual emotional needs.”

To support HERD visit their website at: herd.org.za

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