Baby Themba brings hope to reserve
24 hours later.
“After a long week of searching, we got them back in the boma and that’s where Lawrence started his special relationship with them, talking or singing to them, feeding them.”
The herd was released into the game reserve, and 12 days later the elephants arrived at the Anthony’s main house.
“It was an amazing encounter, they all arrived at our house as unexpected visitors, all seven of them. We had no electric fencing at the house, so they all stepped happily into our garden.
“After a moment of total panic, trying to lock up our barking dogs, reacting wildly to these giant intruders, inside the house Nana came right in front of the veranda, obviously unaware of her power and strength, very gentle and softly trying to enter the house.
“We would have ended with a demolished house if Lawrence had not spoken softly to her, and calling her Baba and begging her not to come in, while I stood bewildered next to him during his little chat.
“That was an amazing moment to experience in a lifetime. These previously wild escape artists and problem elephants were coming to say hello, peacefully walking around the garden.”
The original herd of seven has now grown to 30, and Malby Anthony said each had a unique personality and story.
But little Themba, she said, offered a message of hope that elephants can survive and flourish if they are respected and protected, both from poachers as well as exploitation in captivity.
Lawrence Anthony’s book The Elephant Whisperer details his journey with his elephants.
Protective mum Nandi shows her new baby, Themba, the way.
Proud dad Mabula gets up to a few antics in the bush.