12 Dec 2017 The lovely Lundi by Chloe Grotto
Each elephant in the Camp Jabulani herd has their unique place and role: Tokwe is our regal matriarch, Sebakwe the mighty father, Fishan the enforcer to name just a few. Mambo is our most well-known baby, notorious for his tomfoolery and teenage boy antics. What mother could possibly have the strength and patience to deal with such a spirited young boy as well as help protect the rest of the herd? Lucky for us, we have Lundi!
Long before Camp Jabulani was created, the herds’ originators lived on a farm in Zimbabwe. There, their handlers were happy farming cattle during the day and the elephants could relax in the evenings. It was tough work for the elephants: long hours under the hot African sun, but at least they were a family. One day, everything changed.
The farm was taken away from the owner and the elephants were chased down in a massive culling operation. Elephants were shot in front of their young and as the families ran, the young ones were separated from their parents. In the mad dash somehow, young Lundi found young Tokwe hiding in a bush. Tokwe welcomed the comfort of a friend with an open trunk and let Lundi hide with her. From that day on, Tokwe and Lundi have been inseparable best friends and Lundi would do anything for her saviour Tokwe.
Many years have since passed. The elephants have all adjusted better to their home here at Camp Jabulani – much better than we could have hoped. Lundi and Tokwe, have managed to stay as close as sisters through everything. Each of them happy enough in their new home to have babies of their own. Out in the bush, when Tokwe takes the lead of the herd, Lundi is not far behind her faithful companion. She mimics Tokwe’s every move and makes sure the rest of the herd follows in line. Lundi acts as second in command to Tokwe and we like to think of her as the herds’ teacher.
One day while out in the bush, Lundi caught wind of some lions roaming in the area. She slowly snuck to the back of the line as the rest of her family members pressed on following Tokwe’s lead. Lundi then separated herself from the herd and began to chase down the lion clan. Soon enough, she found them: 3 lionesses dozing under an Acacia tree, not too far from the herds destined feeding spot for the morning. She let out a mighty trumpet and charged the lionesses repeatedly until they scattered up a hill. As Lundi walked off triumphantly, she suddenly realized she had strayed too far from the herd and had no idea where they could be. She began to run, calling for her family over and over again. Finally, after a half hours’ worth of running, she found them at the watering hole. The whole herd began to rumble in relief, welcoming their protector and teacher back home. As Lundi ran through the family, checking each one over with her trunk, she made sure to come to Tokwe last. As she stood in front of her best friend, you could see the emotions pouring out from each of them. They embraced trunks and began to rumble to one another, vowing to never lose each other again.