An Ostrich Has Been Adopted By A Herd Of Elephants
Everyone loves a nice animal story, right?
Incredible footage shows the nine-year-old ostrich Fransina walking with the elephant herd, appearing to mimic their walk, moving her neck as if it were a trunk.
The owner of the reserve, Gerhard Van Rooyen, says the young ostrich joined the group of elephants in 2014 after initially latching onto a herd of sheep.
He said: "We initially bought Fransina along with a male to take care of the sheep.
"The male died about five years so we sold all the sheep and let Fransina loose to walk around the reserve.
"Fransina roamed free for only a short while before she decided to cautiously build her relationship with the gentle giants.
"Visitors are so impressed with finding an ostrich walking with the elephants that they usually snap some pictures with her while they're there."
He added: "Some guests even come to the reserve not only to meet the elephants but also to ask after the friendly Fransina."
Ostriches are known to be very sociable animals, often travelling in pairs or even in herds of around four or five.
However, Fransina's friendship with the group of elephants seems unbreakable - keen never to be left out, she sticks alongside her new family during their guided tours of the reserve.
Falling into line with the rest of the parade, Fransina weaves between the herd, slowing her pace to match their elongated steps and making sure to stay behind the leading member.
She even lowers her head as she walks - carefully sticking close to her companions and eating alongside them too.
And when guests hand out food to the herd of elephants, Fransina is said to get stuck in.
Gerhard added: "Fransina is a very loveable bird.
"She likes to settle down onto her haunches as soon as I come near her, ready to receive some cuddles.
"Her favourite activity is definitely joining the elephant interaction sessions, which is one of the most popular Indalu activities for people visiting the reserve."
Featured Image Credit: Caters