New chance to save the life of escaped jumbo

The elephant, which escaped from Blaauwbosch Private Game Reserve in September, was darted on October 2 and trucked back to the reserve, which has been criticised for broken fences and lack of water. Three days later, the jumbo bust loose again.
The elephant, which escaped from Blaauwbosch Private Game Reserve in September, was darted on October 2 and trucked back to the reserve, which has been criticised for broken fences and lack of water. Three days later, the jumbo bust loose again.

The wandering Blaauwbosch elephant has received a stay of execution.

The jumbo escaped this week for the second time from the game reserve in Kleinpoort and holed up on a nearby farm.

The reserve has faced a barrage of accusations about porous fences and insufficient water and forage for wildlife.

On Wednesday, the provincial environment department issued a permit for the animal to be shot, but on Thursday spokesperson Ncedo Lisani said the matter was being reassessed after the owner of the Mon Desir farm, where the elephant was ensconced, had called for it not to be shot.

“The [reserve] owner has not complied with the notice issued.

“We are seeking an urgent meeting with the owner/manager and we will after this meeting be able to communicate the course of action the department will follow.

“The elephant will be put down or relocated pending availability of suitable land and issues around ownership being settled,” he said.

In January 2017, the department raised concerns about the management of Blaauwbosch Private Game Reserve and issued a compliance notice, the severest administrative step possible, to owner Sheik Khalaf Ahmed Khalaf Al Otaiba.

In June that year, the department said the owner had not complied with the improvements called for, and it was considering pursuing criminal charges.

Asked on Thursday about this process, Lisani said the owner had still not complied.

Asked what would happen if the sheik continued to ignore

Someone had already said they would be happy to take the elephant

directives delivered by the department, he said: “The department will follow all the processes and use all the tools at its disposal to facilitate proper management of environmental resources in the province.”

Sandra Skinner of Mon Desir said someone had already come forward to say they would be happy to take the elephant and would cover the cost of the relocation.

Al Otaiba’s legal representative Kuban Chetty said on Wednesday he would be alerting his client about the escaped elephant and a fence line that was down along the R75 road.

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