Irate farmers call for 2 elephants to be killed

2015-01-13 12:01

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Cape Town - Farmers in the Lephalale area are threatening to kill two bull elephants that have crossed the border from Botswana.

The elephants crossed the Limpopo river on Monday and are currently in the south of Lephalale, north-west of the Mokolo Dam.

According to Conservation Action Trust, farmers in the area have called for the elephants to be killed after they destroyed a number of game reserve gates.

Limpopo Nature Conservation officer Gerhard De Beer is working with the Elephant Special Advisory Group to try and relocate the animals.

"There is huge pressure from the farmers in this area to shoot the elephants who are breaking through expensive game fences as they go, risking potential losses of high value game species which may escape as a result," said De Beer.

"However, I want to make a plan to return the elephants to Botswana, which is keen to have them back, and I am working with the Marakele National Park to see if we can't capture, collar and house the elephants in their boma for a few days before getting things in place to return them to their home."

SANParks' senior GM of operations, Dr Nomvuselelo Songelwa, is investigating protocols with authorities at the Marakele National Park before being able to confirm assistance in the translocation.

Yolanda Pretorius of the Elephant Special Advisory Group said that there is funding for the elephants to be moved and collared to they can be monitored.

"If we don't get somewhere quickly with the plan to return these elephants to their home the farmers in the area are going to insist on them being shot," Pretorius said.

- Conservation Action Trust

Read more on:    sanparks  |  botswana  |  polokwane  |  conservation  |  animals

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