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.


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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