Naledi is reintroduced to the Abu Elephant Herd
The 24th of May was a big day for the Abu Team and especially the elephant handlers. It was the day on which Naledi would be reintroduced to her family, the Abu Camp elephant herd…
It was a beautiful sunny day and the itinerary for the guests in camp was completely different to the usual activities. After a hearty breakfast the lucky guests in camp headed to a specially-selected area to witness what everybody was hoping to be a great success. The Abu management team also came along and everyone was feeling an emotional mix of nerves and excitement. Would she be accepted or would the little calf be rejected by the herd?
The game viewers were carefully positioned so that everyone could see the action and we all waited silently and with bated breath as Naledi and her handlers (with whom she had spent so much time – thus becoming very dependent on them) approached quietly from the east. Lorato and Paseka were brought across from the west. Lorato, sister to Naledi, and Paseka (Abu’s official No. 1 fan of Naledi) walked cautiously with their trunks up in the air smelling the baby, their ears wide and alert.
The youngsters were gently coaxed towards Naledi, but Paseka was the first to lose her nerve and ran back to the familiar comfort of the herd waiting ‘in the wings.’ Lorato stayed longer but also retreated. The elephant handlers knew what to do and decided to bring the rest of the herd as a group. This gave the youngsters confidence and this time their approach was completely different. It was Paseka that eventually led the way and, no longer able to contain her excitement and curiosity, rushed to greet Naledi. The others followed and the reunion was calm and beautiful. The team had anticipated lots of trumpeting and running from the herd, but it was almost as if they had never been apart. Quickly forgetting her handlers, Naledi immediately slotted back to where she belonged, with the Abu Herd. The morning was a great success!
Everyone at Abu is thrilled with the outcome and Naledi continues to be bottle-fed by her handlers. She broke her own record recently by drinking 44 litres of milk in one day!
The Delta waters have arrived in full force which makes for stunning vistas from the camp. Guests have been taking advantage of the abundance of the water and have been enjoying fishing, boating and mokoro activities. Guests on occasion are also able to mokoro alongside the elephants. They were recently delighted by little Naledi actually getting all four feet inside an empty mokoro hoping to catch a lift as she didn’t fancy swimming!
The predator sightings have been plentiful during May and many a leopard has been frequently spotted. Lion have also been seen close to camp at nearby Marabou Pan. A pack of wild dog has been delighting guests and staff alike by running through the back-of-house area in camp! Large herds of buffalo have made an appearance and the summer migratory birds have begun their journey elsewhere for warmer climes.
Until next month, all the best from the Abu herd.
Managers in Camp: Liz, Aaron, JamieRose and Jared
Guides: Thaps and BT