30 Aug 2017 Elephant spotlight: Pisa
Pisa is now the second youngest baby in the herd after the arrival of Timisa last year, her adoptive baby sister. One would expect a baby elephant to be dependent on mom, but young Pisa is one of the most independent elephants in the Camp Jabulani herd. Camp Jabulani’s little fire ball blazes a trail wherever she goes. Most surprisingly, the herd follows her! You can say she was born with it in her blood, being the second born to matriarch Tokwe, but there is no denying the leadership potential our little Pisa has.
Every morning the herd heads out to the bush, trailing after their keepers, to the juicy breakfast spot for the day. Young Pisa has ideas of her own, thinking she knows the best breakfast spot on the reserve, she starts trailing off in another direction. Slowly the rest of the herd begins to taper off the main road and follow their young leader. The keepers, realizing the elephants have plans of their own, chase after them and steer young Pisa and the rest of the herd back on track. While the others stop to grab a bite to eat and settle in to the feeding ground, Pisa never stops moving, inching her way deeper into the bush. Seeking adventure, she jumps from one bush to the next, constantly pushing herself farther and farther to make some new discovery. It’s no wonder Pisa always manages to find the freshest and greenest trees around, because she is not afraid to go out to look for them!
Besides being known for her growing leadership abilities, Pisa is also known for her bravery and strong will. One day in the bush, the mighty Mambo and Zindoga decided to have a good old wrestling match to see who was the strongest of the two. As the boys began to tussle, kicking up dirt and mud around them, they slowly started pushing one another closer to the feeding herd. Little did the brothers realize that in the midst of their play scuffle, they were heading right towards baby Timisa! In the blink of an eye, little Pisa storms out of the nearest bush with a loud rumble, running at full speed towards her baby sister. Just in the nick of time, Pisa was able to get in between the two boys and Timisa, but not without making contact with Zindoga’s behind first. WHAM! Pisa was tripping and stumbling over her feet and into a massive Acacia bush Somapane had been slowly munching on. Startled, the whole herd began trumpeting and running to the young Pisa’s aid. Mambo and Zindoga stood frozen, looking at their little sister, worrying about how much trouble they were about to get in after their latest tomfoolery.
To everyone’s surprise, Pisa sprung up from the acacia bush with a mighty trumpet and a big shake of her head. We all stood silently, even Mambo and Zindoga, watching Pisa to see what she would do next. Pisa slowly lifted her head towards her two brothers, until she met their eyes, and began to rumble deeply. No one knows what Pisa may have said to them that day, but it was enough to make the two boys run off to their mother’s sides. Since that day, Mambo and Zindoga know better than to play too rough around the herd when the young little matriarch is around.