It’s so heartwarming. I didn’t know elephants would perform like that when they welcomed a young into the herd.
Khanyisa, an albino baby elephant, grew up at the Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD) in South Africa.
HERD is South Africa’s first dedicated elephant orphanage.
Let us explain. HERD takes orphaned or displaced elephants and places them in an adopted herd known as the Jabulani Herd so they can live happy and fulfilling lives.
Dr. Adine Roode started the orphanage after seeing more and more baby elephants left without families due to their mothers’ po.ac.hing and conflicts between men and elephants.
“Our mission through HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Recovery and Development) is to care for and rehabilitate these orphaned elephants, providing them with a new family and a second chance of living with another herd, ” the website states.
According to The Independent, elephants are known to live in large herds. Female elephants will often take care of each other’s calves, as the survival rate increases exponentially as more females are available to care for it.
Elephants are also known to develop close relationships between family members and even friends.
The Independent reports: ‘There have been reports of elephants forming lifelong friendships with each other, and even mo.urni.ng the de.a.th of their loved ones.
This is why the people at HERD work so hard to connect calves with new families.
The HERD website explains: “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.”
The close bond that the Jabulani Herd shares is evident in the fact that they happily accept Khanyisa into their herd.
This warm welcome was captured on video and was an incredible sight.
When the herd discovered the albino baby, three of their cubs started walking towards the baby.
As they got closer, they started running towards the baby and trumpeted towards her.
They immediately greeted her and let her stand among them in line.
Then they started snuggling up to her with their trunks and even grabbed hers, so it looked like they were holding hands.
When the child felt cozy and safe, the rest of the herd rush to greet her.
They all surround Khanyisa and start hugging her and giving her love.
At one point, they had her completely surrounded and looked like they were protecting her.
And just like that, Khanyisa was one of the herd members now.
Although she’s much smaller than the rest of the herd, she fits very well.
And it looks like the rest of the herd couldn’t be happier to have her.
More than 1.1 million people watched Khanyisa’s beautiful welcome into the herd.
“This is a beautiful, emotional moment to witness. I wish we humans could understand their language. I would love to know what was said in this welcoming ceremony,” one YouTuber wrote.
Watch Khanyisa’s awesome greeting in the video below!
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