Malasha came to us abandoned and extremely traumatised as a baby would be. Malasha (Ndebele for Coal as he was found behind the Hwange coalfields) when about 3 months old (June 2003). It took 3 weeks of 24 hour a day care before Malasha finally accepted us as his Mum, and particularly as bottle feeder!! The adult female elephant are besotted with him and come rushing over to kneel and feel and touch him as soon as they know he is near- obviously this will be a great asset to his growing up, as it was with Rastas. Malasha is far healthier and stronger than little Rastas ever was and has already hooked on to the day rides when he wakes up energetic and in a good mood! He is determined not to sleep and will sometimes fall asleep on his feet and then collapse. We surmise that perhaps he was asleep when the herd abandoned him, as it has taken 3 weeks for him to calm down. Of course the whole saga has been traumatic for a little ellie, but sleep he fights constantly. If Gavin lies down, Malasha will crash onto him and fall asleep immediately, as long as he has someone holding him.

Malasha is now about 11 years old and what a lovely gentle elephant he has become. A constant companion to Doji which is great as Doji was quite dominant over Malasha when he was younger. Malasha now has tusks and is in perfect condition. He obeys all commands, has done from his very first training and loves joining the adults on walks. Although they are far too young to carry people, a groom often rides them on a walk as they are very boisterous and become a real problem to the videographers and guides who are trying to conduct a walk - the two of them are like bookends and if they decide to wander off and feed, there is no way to get them back except by having someone on top. It is such a wonderful sight to watch them play together wherever they are, rolling about,jostling for position in the line up for cubes, even once in their stables Doji and Malasha often doze off with their trunks entwined across the poles, of course after having fought like mad at who can steal whose branches before the lights go out. When we wander up late at night they are always the two whoa re lying down fast asleep with a reall snore from Malasha that is almost a wheeze and can be heard throughout the night from our house. In his gentle fashion, Malasha takes care of Chizi when she joins the orphans out in the bush and has been seen to dig a mud wallow and then allow Chizi to lay down and play in it - he also lets her wander around feeding very close to him.

Malasha and Dodji