Today is a special day for us at Camp Jabulani. It marks the passing of a very special soul, and the arrival of another.
On this day in 2009, we took possession of an abandoned and traumatised young elephant – Kumbura. When she arrived she was just 18-months old, and had been found wondering through the bush in Botswana on her own. It is not known what happened to her mother, or the rest of the herd. Nature Conservation approached Camp Jabulani to assist, and the baby was welcomed with open arms.
When she arrived at the camp at the end of August, Kumbura was in an agitated state. But despite her fear and aggression, Lundi and baby Mambo soon calmed her. The two elephants were in the stable adjacent to hers, and both animals tenderly stroked her with their trunks.
Today Kumbura is a well-adjusted youngster. She has bonded with Lundi and Tokwe, and plays nicely with the other young elephants in the herd. She has also warmed nicely to people.
Kumbura means “remembrance” – her arrival marks the passing of Johann Roode, who left this world on 29 August 2002. Without this remarkable man, there would be no Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, and no Camp Jabulani. We would like to pay homage to him, and wonder if he ever had any idea that his contribution to wildlife conservation would have such far-reaching effect.
Seen here is Kumbura shortly after she arrived at Camp Jabulani. Clearly she liked the juicy fruit she was fed by then elephant master, Paul Coetzee.