It’s the last Friday of the month – unbelievable, but true. Next month is the equinox, equal day equal night in both northern and southern hemispheres when the earth stands still for a moment before the axis tilts yet again. Just around the corner. Change of season; in the southern hemisphere; winter into spring; in the northern hemisphere, summer into Autumn or Fall.

We are the World Blogfest (#WATWB) is a platform from which bloggers around the world post good news of something happening somewhere in the world, which not only always offsets any negativity or stress we may be feeling in these unsettling times, but also showcases the effect one person, who has an idea and who turns that into reality. And which manifested reality has a profound beneficial effect on the community (or, in this instance, on animals – orphaned baby elephants).

There are so many stories that we don’t know much about, and it’s lovely acknowledge and highlighting them. This platform was started by Belinda Witzenhausen and Damyanti Biswas a few years ago (it’s in its 4th year), and I’m pleased to have been part of it.

This story took my fancy. I know Hoedspruit as a gateway to the Kruger National Park and other game reserves as I’ve been there several times; it’s a gateway to Mocambique as well, but of this orphanage I do not know, perfectly placed right there. There’s a sweet little video of about 1.30 mins.

Mary J. Giese ( ) Belinda Witzenhausen ( are our co-hosts this month, for which we thank you. If you wish to help spread good news, please share any posts – non-political, non-religious. Under 500 words with a link to your story. Please use the #WATWB hashtag eg

If you would like to join in with posting for #WATWB or simply spread some joy on Facebook or Twitter, please click HERE for more information, guidelines and the hosts for this month’s event. You can go HERE to be part of the #WATWB Community Facebook page, where monthly posts congregate for your reading pleasure.

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you all well and safe. May the Force be with you all.

44 Comments on #WATWB orphan elephant sanctuary

  1. Hi Susan, its a joy to connect with you here, nice to know about orphan elephant sanctuary. I never heard of this , glad to read your post, and so inspiring to see the video. Glad that you have been consistently posting for #WATWB. Appreciate your commitment and happy its already 4 years spreading light in darkness. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks for coming by Genevive .. hope you and family are all keeping well, safe and happy. Glad you enjoyed the post. I also found it lovely to read about and the video was so dear.

  2. Hi Susan – so wonderful to see this … I do love South African wildlife … it’s sad humans and nature clash … but fantastic the Sanctuary is helping these orphan ‘giants’ … it’s great to know about. I do hope the funds come in … there’s so much need everywhere for life around the world … I’m delighted to see HERD, to be able to read about it and to see the video and work they’re doing. Thanks Susan – excellent #WATWB for us to learn about other parts of the world. Take care and thanks for promoting these sanctuaries … cheers Hilary

    • Thanks for coming by Hilary, glad this post resonated with you as i knew it would! There are many such sanctuaries eg a donkey sanctuary up the road, wild dog, birds of eden and an elephant one – all within easy reach of Plett. I’m sure I’ve left a few out. (It’s too cold to think straight, although the sun is shining today). O and a snake sanctuary that I have NOT been to –

      I’m going to pop over to you now – I see you’ve got a #WATWB post up. Have a lovely Sunday:) Susan

      • Thanks Susan … yes the snake one would be a challenge for me! But they fascinate me … I wrote a post ‘Bare Bones’ on 2 March 2014 (crumbs long time ago!) explaining how snakes and other mammals had adapted … amazing BBC information by a guy whose gone on to become of huge benefit to our scientific knowledge. Ben Garrod an evolutionary biologist, primatologist and broadcaster.

        The Pandemic has created its own needs here for many species … but so pleased to see the littlie elephants … all the best – Hilary

  3. Hi, Susan – I always look forward to your #WATWB posts. It is so nice to read/hear good news stories that so often get buried by their negative counterparts. I am grateful for organizations like HERD that make a true, positive difference.

    • Thanks Donna for coming by and I’m pleased you enjoy these #WATWB posts which highlight the goodness of people in this world! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

  4. Thank you, Susan. I support elephants and butterflies–two very different creatures and both endangered. It breaks my heart to see these orphaned babies but it fills my heart to see the tender love they’re given in the sanctuary. I appreciate being reminded of human goodness and kindness. My Monarchs are heading south now which will continue through September until the nursery is empty. It’s time to migrate as the days shorten and the equinox nears. Love to you, your family, and the elephants of Africa. May all be well in these difficult times.

    • Your tender-loving and caring support of the Monarchs Elaine is always a delight to see, and a reminder to me of the goodness and kindness of the human heart. A heart who is aware of the danger of creatures of Nature becoming extinct and who thus feels the need to play their part in dis-allowing this to happen as much as possible. These are our unsung heroes and heroines. This includes you Elaine. The butterflies and the elephants probably register on some level the help they get from humans, of this I am sure. Not just elephants and butterflies … all creatures respond to loving kindness.
      Love to you Elaine, your sons and trees, butterflies and bees, all that lives on our planet.

  5. Great post Susan! I have a soft spot for elephants, my little collection of statues is growing lol. Personally I can’t fathom how anyone could hurt a beautiful intelligent, creature such as an elephant or any creature for that matter. HERD is a godsend to these majestic animals, thanks for bringing this brilliant organization to light. Thanks so much for sharing this month and for being a part of #WATWB! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Thanks Belinda. Ganesh is of course the elephant in Indian tradition. How lovely to have a collection of elephants. Wonderful elephants are made from wire of all sizes here in this country – many are beaded. Objects of beauty. Thank you for co-hosting this month. Have a great weekend. There is snow on the mountains after summer days …

  6. I have never understood the hunting of elephants, but then again, I don’t understand that kind of ugly dispassionate greed and need for the money or status. How can you look into a baby or adult elephant’s eyes and believe inhumane murder is okay?

    Kudos to the elephant orphanage and its founder for creating a home for God’s displaced creatures and thanks for sharing this story for August’s WATWB.

    • Thanks Mary for coming by … the persons who commit these kind of atrocities have no conscience. Invariably they’re the middle man charged to obtain rhino horn, elephant tusks, pangolin scales … so the person/s further up have even less conscience. Thank you for co-hosting this month and have a great weekend.

  7. A most beautiful share Susan. Wonderful that the orphaned elephants are being cared for. Losing a parent is traumatic for everyone, not just people. And yes, oh my, where has this year flown? <3

    • Thank you Debby, I loved yours too. Elephants have very strong communal senses – when one dies, they mourn. I don’t think I’ll believe it when September slips in sideways…

  8. KUDOS to World Blog fest (#WATWB). I’m so glad you are part of an organization spreading GOOD NEWS, which there is certainly a shortage of. An orphanage for baby elephants. How grand. Thank you, Susan! ((( )))

    • It is rather grand come to think of it Marian! Those huge leviathans who’s memories are legend. They’re my best animal to see. But I also like seeing a dung beetle so lowly on the ground going about their business!

  9. I am SO looking forward to Autumn as our summer has been extremely hot this year. A respite from the heat is desperately needed.

    Plus it is so wonderful that there is a baby elephant sanctuary as it is so sad that people are still hunting elephants. It is interesting that the sanctuary seems to make so many options available for the elephants to explore and enjoy. These people have wonderful hearts and I hope the sanctuaries receive the support they need. Thank you for sharing this lovely story.

    • Thanks Gwynn for coming by. It is a lovely story isn’t it. I mentioned it to my pottery teacher this morning – she knows the lady and the organisation and was telling me of an albino ellie who was cared for by the male elephants! Yes, truly awful that animals are hunted .. rhino, elephant, pangolin … the list goes on. Thank heavens for people with wonderful hearts.

      I keep tabs on the weather (and the fires) around the world. It’s very concerning. May your Fall come soon.

  10. I love fall and I love a good elephant story, Susan, and yes, WTH — is time speeding up or is it just that we’re getting older and it passes more quickly? Either way, it’s a bit freaky! Have a lovely weekend, pam

    • I think it’s because we’re getting older! What other reason could there be? An awareness of limited time (for me) left here on this earth! All that is happening worldwide at the speed of lightning is another factor I guess. Whatever it is, it’s freaky. You too have a lovely weekend 🙂

  11. Hi Susan, a great reminder how the equinox is upon us soon. Once, again, I am in awe of how quickly time flies by. I greatly appreciate you and others showcasing good news and hopefully this offsets the challenges we read about daily on our planet.
    This is a fascinating and heart-warming story and video. “…finding a second herd to ensure their emotional wellbeing and survival” is possibly a great lesson for human survival. Safety, community, education, mentors, a new family. We all need and appreciate a safe and happy place to thrive and survive. Thank you for the video and thank you for sharing the good and putting a smile on my face this morning. xx

    • Yes, you brought this into focus about the importance of being in a loving herd whether human or animal Erica, thank you for saying. Glad you had a smile this morning 🙂 … I’ve been away, returned Wednesday afternoon and have done a part catch-up on blogs, still a few to do. I hope you saw my comment on your recent one. Have a lovely weekend! xx

  12. So very sweet–those baby elephants. Thank you for sharing, Susan.
    Like you, I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of the month–and summer activities are ending here.

    • Thanks for stopping by Merril. They are dear aren’t they. While buds and blooms are all over the show in SA, right now and elsewhere in the country, we’re going backwards into a freeze. I can’t believe that it’s turned so swiftly, from a summer’s day yesterday into a big freeze today!

  13. Aww, what’s not to love about those cute baby elephants and wanting to help them. There’s something intrinsically beautiful about a project like this. Thank you Susan for sharing this lovely, uplifting #WATWB story with us and do watch the video everyone!

    On a personal note, I’ve always been strongly drawn the “Orphan” archetype in this world, despite growing up with both parents. I remember reading Charles Dicken’s “Oliver Twist” as a child and thinking how much I wanted to nourish and nurture him, others too.

    Oh, I feel on the cusp on everything as we enter this time in-between the turning of seasons.

    Sending love and light across the oceans between us, Deborah.

    • Interesting you say about the Orphan archetype Deborah … and, just because I’ve just realised it as I’m about to go to my pottery class, I hope a plate I fashioned some while back is ready for me to paint on it – it’s an abstract of an elephant, from a plate on one of my shelves that I bought a very long time ago. It was lost on one occasion, broken on another and fixed … well, I’ll be.

      Must rush now … class at 10 and it’s a way to go!

      Love, light, laughter from me to you –

        • ‘Elephants have a way in helping us to remember’ … spot on! Brought back a few bits and pieces that have been through their firing. Somehow this morning was especially enjoyable – maybe because it was good to see the gals after my 2 week absence. My elephant plate was not yet ready for painting …

          • That’s great that your art class went well and you were able to bring some pieces home to maybe paint. I’m sure your plate will be ready next time. It’s wonderful to hear you immersing yourself in your creativity again. Oh happy days!

            • They’re painted – ie glazed and fired! Yes, it’s great to be a bit creative again – not immersed I hasten to add, though I did splash some oils on a canvas yesterday!

  14. Hi Susan It’s nice to see a post from you. This is a great idea. We visited the Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary on Monday. We have to support these places now as they need money due to lockdowns.

    • Thanks for coming by Robbie. I agree it’s important to support sanctuaries as much as possible. There are many who need financial help. I recently had Americans here in Plett and it was a delight to take them to places around here, eg the Bird Sanctuary, MonkeyLand and others –

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