Two suspended over elephant capture

2013-06-05 12:01

(Carlos Drews, WWF-Canon, AP)

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Johannesburg – Two officials involved in the capture of nine elephants in Tosca near Vryburg have been placed on precautionary suspension, the North West provincial government said on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Lesiba Moses Kgwele said an independent investigation commissioned by conservation and tourism MEC Motlalepula Rosho had recommended that the officials be charged for violating norms and standards outlined in the National Environmental Management Act, when they allowed hunting of adult elephants that had calves.

"The two allegedly captured the elephants on 12 March. Four elephant calves were taken to the Eastern Cape. Two of the elephants were culled during the process," said Kgwele.

One elephant was unaccounted for and two had been hunted.

He said Rosho also announced the withdrawal of the permit issued for exporting elephants to the Eastern Cape.

"In terms of the position adopted by Rosho’s department, the calves which were translocated have to be returned, as arrangements have been made for them to be placed with adoptive parents in Limpopo."

Kgwele said hunting permits for big protected species in North West would no longer be issued in regions but at a centralised point.

A provincial committee would be mandated to issue all environmental-related permits.

This was to curb illegal hunting in the province.

He said applications for hunting would still be received at regions but issued by the provincial committee.

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