Kafue Release Facility
Born October 2017
Fungulani, affectionately known as Lani is the latest graduate to join the release herd.
Fungulani was found in a forest by community members of the Fungulani village on December 14th, 2018.
She was separated from her herd while they were crossing the border into Mozambique. After being spotted, she was closely observed with the hope that her mother or herd would return for her. However, after five hours of close monitoring, it was apparent that Fungulani was alone and her herd had moved on.
The cause of Fungulani’s orphaning is unknown, as her mother may have been separated from her due to human-elephant conflict or killed as a result of poaching. The two local community members observing her called Game Rangers International and the EOP Wildlife Rescue Department team was deployed. They quickly stabilized Fungulani in the field as she had already lost body condition, and then transferred her to Lilayi Elephant Nursery. Fungulani’s first few days at the nursery were quite challenging, as she was malnourished and struggled to get up by herself.
Nevertheless, with the warm welcome from her surrogate siblings and much care from the keepers, Lani’s condition quickly improved.
Over time Lani has grown into a very strong and dominant character, quickly exhibiting matriarchal behaviours as she began to mother the younger orphans coming into our care. At 3½ years old, Lani was very ready to progress into her next phase of rehabilitation. Old enough to be weaned from milk and human support and to join the Release Herd in Kafue National Park, where she will continue her journey back to the wild.
Lani recently chose to leave the Release Herd and stay with the six elephants roaming the park. This was not her first time spending time away. Earlier in the year, Lanie, Mphamvu and Maramba left with a wild herd and spent the night out, heading back only in the early hours with Mphamvu. Lani was still on milk formula when she left, but this will not negatively influence her health as she was being weaned from the milk, and the park has an abundance of food from the rainy seasons.
Lani relocated to Kafue Release Facility
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Lani is supported by our partners in conservation, Stop Poaching Now! However, please consider supporting her herd-mates by adopting an elephant today.