Thandora adopts 'car herd'

2013-04-23 16:43
Thandora (Picture: Gondwana Game Reserve)

Thandora (Picture: Gondwana Game Reserve)

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Cape Town - Newly-released elephant Thandora was on Tuesday browsing peacefully in the company of the vehicles of her minders which she seems to have adopted as her herd for now.

The elephant cow, who had been in captivity for 23 years, was slowly re-introduced into the wild at the Gondwana Game Reserve near Mossel Bay on Monday, and had been making good progress, according to officials.

Earlier on Tuesday, she even drank from a bottle of water held by John Vogel, Gondwana Game Reserve's wildlife manager, when she was thirsty.

Thandora and her minders are at present about 400m from the two cows who they hope will form a herd with her, according to Vogel.

Gondwana's owner Mark Rutherfoord said the elephants are all very aware of each other.

"Thandora is still feeding around her release vehicle and the Gondwana cows are remaining in the thicket with their baby.

"They will naturally start moving from around 17:00 and we are moving Thandora into an area where we anticipate they will be able to meet up, ideally before dark."

On Monday night there was much trumpeting and crashing of trees when she met the other females for the first time.

A little while after they parted Thandora fell asleep next to the car. Vogel and his team stayed with her overnight watching over her.

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