Every member of the Camp Jabulani herd is unique, each having its own personality traits and behaviour quirks. But one young elephant was born to stand out from the rest. We call him Mambo.
Mambo was born to Lundi on August 29th , 2009 right here at Camp Jabulani. At just 8 years old, he is already determined to be the “biggest and baddest” bull on the Kapama Reserve.
One of our favourite things about Mambo is how he is always ready and excited to meet and interact with our guests. During the elephants’ browsing time before an interaction, you can rest assured that you will find Mambo slowly but surely sneaking his way away from the handlers, and towards the interaction site. It is sometimes quite a task to find out where the youngster has wondered off too… But alas, we always find him contentedly snacking on fresh foliage next to the interaction spot – waiting to meet and impress new friends!
As with any mischievous young boy, he is always on the lookout for the next exciting thing. Sometimes his curiosity – which always gets the best of him – lands him in a mess of trouble.
Mambo enjoys play sparring with his best friend, Zindoga, only 2 years his senior. He also loves to frolic in the watering holes with his friend Klaserie, the oldest out of the younger girls. It’s so special to see them wrap their trunks around one another, splashing around.
Just like a big brother would, Mambo loves to tease and ‘pick on’ the youngest girl in the herd, Pisa. Sometimes Mambo forgets that he is bigger and stronger, and pushes his little sister a little too hard. Pisa gets frightened, and loudly cries out for her mother. Soon the whole herd is in an uproar, calling to one another to check that Pisa is okay. Mambo always realises he’s in trouble, makes a mad dash out of the water towards his mother, hotly pursued by the rest of the mothers in the herd. After a few hoots and hollers from the ladies, Mambo slinks back with a bruised ego. But only for a few moments, mind you, as he bounces back to his playful troublesome self very quickly.
This little boy is truly full of life. He charges out of the stable gates every morning, and heads straight for his favourite Amarula tree, wolfing down as many freshly fallen fruits as he can. He browses all day, bouncing around the herd as he goes, and wonders off by himself as he pleases.
It is a real treat and delight to watch him grow, and we are excited to see what he has in store for us next…
By Chloe Grotto
Elephant Researcher at Camp Jabulani