It's been several weeks since the sad news of Frankie's passing. After her body was discovered in early January, Francoise and the Thula Thula team were very worried about the herd, as they seemed to have split up, and were wandering aimlessly in different directions. A herd is strongest, when it is united and led by a kind and wise matriarch.
So it was very heartening last week, when the herd seemed to have come back together, and passed Francoise's house in a procession like they used to do in the past. The new matriarch is still not clearly established, so in this video the herd is being led by the largest bull elephant - Mandla.
Mandla was just 2 years old when he arrived at Thula Thula in 1997, but since then he has grown and developed with the herd, to become the biggest bull Thula Thula has. Despite his massive size, his tusks are relatively short for a bull elephant. When the herd first arrived at Thula Thula, they were troubled elephants and escaped from the Boma 3 times. Despite being so small, Mandla managed to keep up with them all 3 times. That is why Lawrence Anthony affectionately named him Mandla - which means Power.
With the generous donations of many of you readers and supporters of wildlife conservation, Thula Thula and my art, we have adopted Mandla. Thank you for your support. It make a very big difference to our planet.