Rare albino elephant calf saved from snare

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 30 January 2020

A rare blue-eyed albino baby elephant was caught in a hunting snare recently and suffered severe injuries as she struggled to free herself causing the snare to tighten. It’s not known how many days she may have spent trapped.

The calf, estimated to be about 4 months old, was rescued and taken to Care for the Wild rhino sanctuary before being transferred to South Africa’s first elephant orphanage known as HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development).

The ellie has been named Khanyisa and she seems to have a fighting spirit and the will to survive. According to posts on HERD’s Instagram page, her wounds weren’t healing as fast as they’d hoped. Khanyisa has been communicating with the herd of elephants, her future family, on the other side of the fence. The herd had been described as ‘calm and peaceful’.

In the meantime she has a sheep called Lammie to keep her company.

In the most recent update, a video shows her playing with a young apple tree, ‘Yesterday was a good day for Khanyisa, she was very active and happy. She spent a long time playing in the dense foliage surrounding the orphanage, which she loves to do!’

‘Her wounds are mostly improving and she is becoming more playful and confident by the day. Her quality of sleep has improved and she drank more than the day before one of her favourite activities is to play with sand as well as tackling the small apple-leaf trees.’

She was given an iron injection by Dr Rogers who will return on Friday to stitch the wounds behind her ears.

The Hoedspruit orphanage is adjacent to the stables of the Jabulani Herd of elephants on the Kapama Private Game Reserve. This herd has an unusual family structure as most of these elephants are orphans too and so new arrivals are integrated into this herd to help ‘meet their emotional needs,’ according to HERD’s website.

The organisations states that it’s their mission ‘to care for and rehabilitate these orphaned elephants, to give them a new family, and a second chance of life with another herd.’

 

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Update on our patient, Albino elephant calf, Sunshine. This morning marks day three since her arrival; the next two posts will provide an overview day one and day two. Thursday 9th January – Day 1 – Part One: Her first day, she seemed energised, which may well be from the adrenalin of all the events that had taken place and her new surroundings. Over the years, we have learned not to get too excited when we see this energised activity, as it is not an accurate reading; they are dealing with a lot of emotions and physical challenges. It takes a considerable amount of time to gather a true reflection of her wellbeing. . Feeding her was a little more complicated than usual due to her mouth injuries, but on day one, we managed to find the correct angles for feeding her successfully, without too much discomfort. Overnight she vocalised quite a bit, as did the Jabulani herd. They can smell and hear there is a new baby in our care. . She was very eager to investigate in the morning, and she wondered straight over the dividing fence to meet her future family. We will never know the depth of their communication, but they communicated. Tokwe, the matriarch, and the Herd were exceptionally calm and peaceful. . The orphanage is located alongside the stables of the Jabulani herd. We separate them to be able to monitor the health and wellbeing of each baby elephant’s physical health, stress levels and emotional wellbeing until we feel the time is right to continue with the integration process to their new family. . During that day she explored the orphanage, under the protection of sun umbrella, held by her carers. Albinoism, much like that in humans, means her eyes are super sensitive to sunlight as is her skin. It was a sweltering day, with temperatures reaching 41 Degrees (Celcius). . Lammie, the sheep, kept close by to her new friend, but Sunshine had not paid too much attention to her until later in the day, where she was then a little rough with her, but Lammie took it in her stride. Their bond will take some time, and Lammie knows it. She is so incredibly patient. Day 1 Part 2 to follow shortly… #Babyelephant #albinoelephant #elephantorphanage

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‘This little girl is so unbelievably brave. The odds of her survival have been stacked against her from birth; she was born as an albino, she then endured excruciating pain trapped in the jaws of a manmade snare, and left to fight for her fragile life for an unknown amount of days. We can only try to comprehend the amount of pain she felt, how scared she felt, was her herd with her when it happened, was she alone? And how hot and thirsty she must have been. How could she possibly survive?

It is clear to us now; it is her spirit; she is a fighter. Her spirit is strong.’

 

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The Brighter Side of the Human Heart🐘💕. . Khanyisa’s start to life made us and a lot of people around the world angry. She bears in her wounds, and no doubt soon to be her scars, the harsh reality of what many innocent animals endure due to snares for poaching and other illicit wildlife trade. Most are not as lucky as Khanyisa was. But through her ordeal, we have also seen the most beautiful side of the human heart again, as we watch how loving and attentive our carers and our team have been over the past three weeks; as well as how amazing so many supporters and followers, from all around the world have been, pouring their heart and souls into every comment, like and share. This world is filled with good and evil, rights and wrongs, and situations around the world that empty our hearts and then others that fill them up again. Thank you to everyone that has helped our team and Khanyisa fill our hearts again. We really appreciate all the support. Her condition is still good, though over the past day she drank a little less than in previous days so we are hoping for a better day tomorrow. We thought we would share our thank you with this special moment caught between Khanyisa and her carer Herman, as she tried to give him some special ele-loving💕🐘💕!. . #THANKYOU #love #hope #support #kindness #goodandevil #stoppoaching #herdsouthafrica #albinoelephant #pinkelephant #everyelephantneedsaherd #hoedspruitelephants #elephantorphanage #southafrica #conservation #animallovers #elephantconservation #animalovers #elephantsofinstagram #elephants #elephant #babyelephant #elephantcalf #elephant🐘 #soulful_moments #elephants #elephantlove #elephantlovers #everysingleelephantcounts

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SPECIAL MOMENTS BETWEEN INJURED ALBINO ELEPHANT🐘, KHANYISA AND HER ELEPHANT CARER, HERMAN💗. . Today was another positive day for Khanyisa. She drank a decent amount, though once again, it could have been better. She took good naps and spent special time with our carers. Her wounds are not healing as fast as we would like, but we know it will take time. Thank you to everyone who has sent so many suggestions for healing, we are very grateful, and do discuss with our veterinarian team where possible. . Adine managed to snap some special moments between Khanyisa and one of her awesome carers, Herman, whom she spent some quality time getting to know today. . Hoping for another good day tomorrow. Every day counts. . Khanyisa’s story for those that are only following her story now: . On Monday, 6th January, a female albino elephant calf, estimated to be four months old was found trapped in a horrific snare. Her wounds indicated she had been trying desperately to free herself for a few days, as they were deep and maggots had started eating into the decaying flesh. She had severe lacerations around the back of her ears and neck that stretched around her mouth, slicing into both her cheeks and into her mouth. There was no sign of her herd anywhere. The team that found her took her into the care of @careforwild while our team at HERD got our paperwork ready to transfer her to our province. She has been in our care since Tuesday 7th January. She’s an incredible little elephant. . . #love #Khanyisa #albinoelephant #babyalbino #herdsouthafrica #everyelephantneedsaherd #hoedspruitelephants #elephantorphanage #southafrica #kapama #conservation #limpopo #animallovers #hoedspruit #elephantconservation #animalovers #elephantsofinstagram #elephants #elephant #pinkelephant #babyelephant #elephantcalf #elephant🐘 #elephants #elephantlove #elephantlovers #everysingleelephantcounts

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Khanyisa, Lammie and Juan taking their first steps out of their nursery into the welcoming sunshine this morning☀️🐘🐑🌿 . Wildlife vet Dr Peter Rogers came to visit Khanyisa again yesterday for another checkup on her wounds. It’s important to have an objective eye on her overall condition too. Doc was happy with her condition. Another good day! . . #Khanyisa #HERD #KhanyisaandLammie #Lammiethelegend #goodmorning #animalfanatics #animalfriends #friendshipgoals #herdsouthafrica #everyelephantneedsaherd #hoedspruitelephants #elephantorphanage #southafrica #kapama #conservation #limpopo #animallovers #hoedspruit #elephantconservation #animalovers #elephantsofinstagram #elephants #elephant #babyelephant #elephantcalf #elephant🐘 #elephants #elephantlove #elephantlovers #everysingleelephantcounts

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Yesterday was a good day for Khanyisa, she was very active and happy. She spent a long time playing in the dense foliage surrounding the orphanage, which she loves to do! . Her wounds are mostly improving and she is becoming more playful and confident by the day. Her quality of sleep has improved and she drank more than the day before😃 One of her favourite activities is to play with sand as well as tackling the small apple-leaf trees😂🌿🌿. . Dr. Rogers visited briefly yesterday and gave her an iron injection and he will return on Friday to stitch the wounds behind her ears. . We love this little video that our carer Gary shared with us! She’s just full of beans! . . . #EleKhanyisa #herdsouthafrica #albinoelephant #babyalbinoelephant #albinism #everyelephantneedsaherd #hoedspruitelephants #animallove #elephantorphanage #southafrica #animallovers #elephantconservation #albino #animalovers #elephantsofinstagram #elephants #elephant #babyelephant #elephantcalf #elephant🐘 #elephants #elephantlove #elephantlovers #everysingleelephantcounts

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Donations towards her care can be made here: https://herd.org.za/product/donate/

 

Image: HERD Facebook






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