Jun 26, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

International milk drive for 600kg Limpopo baby jumbo Khanyisa

A milk drive for a 600kg baby from Limpopo is underway.

The baby is actually a small albino elephant named Khanyisa, a resident of the Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (Herd) orphanage.< /p>

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The Jumbo lives at the orphanage after being found trapped in a sling with serious injuries two years ago. She has been cared for by the shelter ever since.

As an albino, the elephant is more visible in the bush and therefore more vulnerable to predator attacks. It also means their eyes are more sensitive to light. However, albino elephants have been known to survive in the wild.

A milk bottle feed costs around R460.

Herd has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help cover the cost of the mammoth ye what their bottle feeding, which includes staff salaries, vet bills and groceries.

The goal is R2.3 million and so far people from around the world, including South Africa, have donated R1.5 million.

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Herd founder Adine Roode said: “Khanyisa was born with the need to be an albino elephant in the wild, meaning she is more sensitive to the harsh African sunlight, but she has learned to take care of herself to cover herself with mud and sand to protect herself.

“She overcame the sling wounds, trauma of being orphaned, illness, diarrhea and a blood transfusion while we struggled to get her through rehabilitation .

“Without breast milk, we have to sp designed specifically for them and adapting to their changing needs.

“Khanyisa will remain milk dependent until around 4-6 years of age, but will begin the weaning process by feeding the overnight bottles first reduced to allow her to stay overnight with the larger herd.”

She said a lot of her work involves monitoring Khanyisa’s milk formula – its impact on her growth, well-being and health and how she needs to change to adapt to their growing needs.

“Since most of the ingredients in their milk formula are imported from overseas, the price per bottle of milk makes their formula one of the best our highest spends. We are working with experts to produce this locally, but many ingredients have yet to be imported as they simply aren’t made in SA.

“We look forward to working on creating this local version as working it will reduce costs somewhat, but also the amount of cans and packaging that have to be recycled or often end up in landfills.”