Elephants safely relocated from Blaauwbosch Private Game Reserve

Posted by Leila Stein on 26 November 2019

Eleven elephants were relocated from Blaauwbosch Private Game Reserve to their new home in Buffalo Kloof Game Reserve near Makhanda last week.

According to the Herald, the transfer was met with opposition from the owner of Blaauwbosch, United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalaf Ahmed Khalaf Al Otaiba. He applied for an urgent interdict to stop the removal.

They say ‘It takes a Village to raise a child’ let me tell you people, it takes an incredible Team to move a herd of Elephants! No one image or video will ever do Justice to what we did, but seeing the herd arrive at their new home Buffalo Kloof Private Game Reserve is a good attempt! All possible thanks to The Aspinall Foundation and Team, especially the Man, the myth, the Legend that is Dereck Milburn, Conservation Solutions led by another Legend Kester Vickery and his Team, the one and only Dr William Fowlds and his awesome Team, Peter Chadwick of Mount Camedeboo, my dear friends Warne & Wendy Rippon of Buffalo Kloof Private Game Reserve for stepping up and giving 11 more Elephants a safe and happy home, protected by the guys & gals of VETPAW…..Thankfully all recorded for posterity led by Andy Malcom, Neville Esterhuizen and his Team…The operation was under auspices of the SPCA (The Wonderful Mariaan & Dierdre) thanks also extended to Eastern Cape Nature Conservation and we were all so incredibly well looked after by our dear friends In the local community, John & Sandra Skinner and Patrick Grewar 🙏#Wild11 #chrisholcroft_imagery #SPCA #conservationsolutions #conservationinaction #buffalokloofprivategamereserve #vetpaw #southafrica #conservation #wildlifeconservation #animalconservation #elephant #blauuwboschrescue #wildlife #safari #theaspinallfoundation

Gepostet von Chris Holcroft am Samstag, 23. November 2019

At the high court in Makhanda, Lila Crouse, the sheikh’s counsel, argued that moving the animals amounted to the forfeiture of valuable property without a forfeiture order.

But Judge Gerald Bloem dismissed the application with costs, allowing the removal to take place.

There has been repeated warnings from authorities related to how Blaauwbosch was being managed before the removal and wildlife vet Dr William Fowlds had found that the removal of the animals was urgent due to the state of the reserve.

Concerns had been raised about the state of the perimeter fences, insufficient water and forage and a lack of the correct Protected and Threatened Species permits.

Dereck Milburn from the The Aspinall Foundation, who co-ordinated the operation, which was backed by the provincial environment department and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the elephants had made it successfully through the journey.

‘They say “It takes a village to raise a child” let me tell you people, it takes an incredible team to move a herd of Elephants!’ said Chris Holcroft, member of the transfer team on Facebook.

Buffaloes and a giraffe are also due to be transferred from Blaauwbosch to other reserves.

Image: Chris Holcroft/ Facebook

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