All too soon the calf grew into a five year old bull, and a unique opportunity arose to give him a family of his own kind. A rather special herd from Zimbabwe had to be relocated to South Africa to ensure its survival. These elephants had been trained, with patience and kindness, to safely carry people.
The rescue mission was launched by Lente Roode in March 2002 when Zimbabwe was preparing for an election. She learnt that the future of these elephants, and their handlers, was in jeopardy when war veterans began invading farms, including the game farm on which this trained herd was located.
The rescue succeeded, and the herd and its handlers arrived at Kapama. We were more than a bit anxious on the day Jabulani was introduced to the herd. To our great relief the Matriarch “Tokwe” immediately adopted Jabulani as her own. He has become part of this close family. He’s their mascot, and their affection for him is obvious, though they don’t let him get too cheeky! Today the herd consists of 13 full-grown elephants accommodated at Camp Jabulani on the Kapama Game Reserve.