Aww!
Albino baby elephant welcomed to herd for first time by an emotional greeting
This is so heartwarming. I had no idea elephants put on such a show when they welcome a baby into the herd.
D.G. Sciortino
09.28.21

Khanyisa, an albino baby elephant, grew up at Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD) in South Africa.

HERD is South Africa’s first dedicated orphanage for elephants.

Let us explain. HERD takes orphaned or displaced elephant calves and immerses them into an adoptive pack known as the Jabulani Herd so that they can live full, happy lives.

HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube
Source:
HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube

Dr. Adine Roode started the orphanage after seeing a growing number of elephant calves without families due to the poaching of elephant mothers and conflicts between men and elephants.

“It is our mission through HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development) to care for and rehabilitate these orphaned elephants, to give them a new family, and a second chance of life with another herd,” the website states.

HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube
Source:
HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube

According to The Independent, elephants are known to live in big herds. Female elephants will often look after each others’ calves, as the survival rate grows exponentially when more female elephants are available to take care of it.

Elephants are also known to develop close relationships between family members and even friends.

“There have been reports of elephants forming lifelong friendships with each other, and they even mourn the death of their loved ones,” The Independent reports.

HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube
Source:
HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube

This is why the folks at HERD work so hard to connect calves with new families.

“The unusual family structure of the Jabulani Herd, the majority of which are orphans themselves, presents a unique solution for orphaned baby elephants in Southern Africa that vitally need to find a second herd to ensure their emotional wellbeing and survival,” HERD’s website explains.

HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube
Source:
HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube

The close bond that the Jabulani Herd shares is evident in their cheerful acceptance of Khanyisa into their herd.

This warm welcome was caught on video and is an incredible sight to see.

Once the herd spots the baby albino elephant, three of their matriarchs start walking toward the baby.

HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube
Source:
HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube

Once they got closer, they started running toward the baby and trumpeted their trunks at her.

They immediately welcomed her and let her stand among them in line.

Then they start nuzzling her with their trunks and even grab her trunk in theirs, so it looks like they are holding hands, except with their trunks.

HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube
Source:
HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube

Once the baby felt cozy and safe, the rest of the herd runs over to greet her.

They all surround Khanyisa and start nuzzling her and giving her some love.

At one point, they have her totally surrounded and look like they are protecting her.

HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube
Source:
HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube

And just like that, Khanyisa is one of the herd now.

Though she’s a lot smaller than the rest of the herd, she fits right in.

And it seems like the rest of the herd couldn’t have been happier to have her.

HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube
Source:
HERD Elephant Orphanage South Africa - YouTube

More than 1.1 million people have watched Khanyisa’s beautiful welcome into the herd.

“This is such a beautiful, emotional moment to witness. I wish we humans could understand their language. I would love to know what was said during this welcoming ceremony,” wrote one YouTuber.

Watch Khanyisa’s amazing greeting in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Share this article
By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
Advertisement
Advertisement