Owners relieved as four orphan elephant calves stay on at farm

Shaun Gillham

THE four orphaned elephants at the centre of a bitter tug-of-war between two provinces, their owners and a prominent animal protection group, will continue to stay in the Eastern Cape for the foreseeable future.

Wild speculation over the future of the four calves was rife this week following the auction and sale of the spectacular Elephants of Eden farm in the Alexandria area, where the elephants have been living and have become integrated into a herd since February this year.

And in a closely related development, which has led to the retention of the animals at Elephants of Eden, the spectacular 400ha property in the Woody Cape area was purchased in the auction by an Eastern Cape government department which has signed a farm management and development agreement with the former owners.

The latest developments follow the controversial cull of the animals’ parents, along with their original herd, at the Sandhurst Game Reserve in North West province and their subsequent – and equally controversial – relocation to the Eastern Cape.

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