Thandora finding her feet

2013-04-29 17:45
Thandora looking rather fetching. (Gondwana)

Thandora looking rather fetching. (Gondwana)

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Cape Town - Thandora, the elephant recently re-introduced into the wild at Gondwana Game Reserve after being held in captivity for 23 years, is slowly acclimatising to her new home.

The team watching over her on Monday continued to move her closer to the two elephants they hope she will form a small herd with, according to Greg Vogt from Conservation Global.

The idea is that she will eventually want to be with the other elephants more than the team and their Land Rover. 

Vogt says the two cows have certainly made it clear that she is welcome to be with them, while her interest in the other cows is growing.

The distance between her and the following vehicle is increasing day by day, he said.

According to Wendy Rutherfoord the co-owner of Gondwana, "some more tough love may be in order soon" if Thandora does not wean herself from the Land Rover.

But Vogt maintains that the progress the elephant has made is remarkable considering that she has been enclosed within a small space for 23-odd years.

He said for him the greatest gift "is to discover this reserve through her eyes", as he told of Thandora's interactions with other animals.

What are you?

On Saturday evening the two cows and a calf with which she spent last Tuesday with, not long after being freed, met up with her again.

"It amazes me how these two large three-ton females and their baby just appear and then disappear again, into the dark of night," he said.

"For forty minutes they rumbled to one another. Thandora was apprehensive at first, but then settled into a pattern that I could only assess through the sound of her grazing rate," he said.

After a while her grazing settled into her normal rate indicating that she accepted the other two cows but still at a little distance.

Vogt said earlier in the week a small hare suddenly appeared at sunset, and Thandora's reaction was quite funny.

At first first she looked down at the little animal as if to say, "What are you?"

Then she flicked her trunk as if to says, "go about your business and leave me alone", he said.

On another occasion a young female rhino appeared. Thandora was very inquisitive and moved slowly towards her to the point where they were in touching distance of one another.

Thandora  was obviously relaxed enough to graze during the encounter, but the moment became too big for the female rhino and she moved off. 

Thandora followed much to the horror of the Rhino who then took off into the fading light, he said.

Read more on:    george  |  conservation  |  animals  |  good news
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