DSWF Tafika Update – January/February 2018
Tafika was born in November 2008 and was rescued by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation in August 2009
The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSFW) is delighted to be able to update you on the progress of ‘Tafika’, who we introduced to the Silversurfers family last Autumn. He is one of the few lucky survivors of the poaching epidemic sweeping across Africa. DSWF works hard on the ground, and in the international arena to fight for the survival of this iconic mammal and help protect the last raining wild elephants left roaming our planet…
The past month has been an interesting one for Tafika! For the first time in months, he joined his older surrogate siblings, release-phase orphans Chamilandu and Batoka, as they explored their surroundings away from the rest of the herd in Kafue National Park. And to add even more excitement to this excursion, a wild bull elephant was with them, which is an even bigger step for Tafika. It appears that Tafika had followed the bull, who had given him the courage to leave the herd to explore. It is likely that Tafika had witnessed his fellow orphan, Kafue, being attacked and killed by lions in May 2016, so perhaps this older bull’s presence made him feel more secure.
His engagement with the bull and his trip away from the herd, which lasted for a total of three days, is a strong indicator that Tafika is developing well socially; he now has the confidence to leave the comfort of the herd and the protective boma, as well as the independence to interact with an older wild elephant.
If Tafika’s independence continues to grow, he will start to spend more time away from the herd with Chamilandu and Batoka as he moves into the release phase of his rehabilitation. After eight years at the Elephant Orphanage Project, it is a good time for Tafika to enter this important phase, however, the strong bonds that he has with the rest of herd are likely to draw him back to the boma after time spent away from them. The upcoming months will be interesting as Tafika’s behaviour will be closely observed; will he choose to embark upon further adventures or was this one enough for now?
We look forward to sharing more of story, habits and personality with you in the year ahead! If you are interested in learning more about this iconic species or the other animals that we work hard to protect please visit our website