PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
MikeHampton
 
Comments: 0
Article views: 160
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all MikeHampton's badges.
 

Update: Knysna Elephant Abuse Scandal

26 May 2014, 07:41
The alleged abuse of elephants at Elephants of Eden (EOE), which was owned by Knysna Elephant Park (KEP), has shone a massive light on the elephant edutainment industry of South Africa. There is anger, hysteria, name calling and finger pointing. And the media has lapped it up like a pet elephant at a drinking hole.

Although the current scandal festers in my backwaters, i initially refrained from blogging about it as there were insufficient facts on the ground. However, when international media got the story hopelessly wrong, i published a precursor, ‘Were Knysna Elephants Tortured?’, in which i emphasised that there were 2 sides to this story. Actually, there are more, with some falling into the same camp. Primarily, there’s Lisette Wither’s (KEP owner), Debbie Young’s (KEP’s elephant researcher), Gerhard Van Rooyen’s (owner of some of the elephants that were abused), CapeNature’s (responsible for wildlife in the Western Cape), Wendy Willson’s (NSPCA inspector) and Greg Vogt’s (ex-manager of KEP).  And, of course, there is you, the public, who has ranged from vicious to supportive but rarely in between.

What’s certain is that this story is as muddy as it gets. In pursuit of the truth, i had to abandon my personal goal of submitting an article to a Sunday newspaper (this past week) lest i become another hack exploiting the situation rather than helping it through clarity. I have spoken to 6 people of the people involved so far but the main article will have to wait as there’s no ways that i can yet combine their differing versions into a whole that will inform you so that you can make an informed (not emotional) opinion.

I haven’t forgotten the madness of ‘Yay, McLaren Circus is in Town?’, my circus article that attempted in between sanity yet had me attacked by both sides because, clearly, few were interested in truth, especially the truth about themselves. The circus wasn’t prepared to accept the only article that, in a way, questioned their critics by expressing the hypocrisy of many animal lovers and activists. The latter never cared that i stated that i was against all animals in cages (although supportive of Knysna Animal Welfare through my blogs, i haven’t heard from them since). I asked the question: Where do you stand? Do you yell for animal rights when it’s easy or do you do it all the time? It applies even more so now as social media users have exploded the elephant edutainment topic. As with the circus, i expect truth, as best as i can deliver it (there’s rarely absolute truth), to be uncomfortable. I expect both sides to be unhappy but hope that some actively reflect on the far bigger story which is how to fairly create and enforce laws that protect South Africa’s elephants and associated industries.

As my primary article has been delayed, i’ve decided to share 2 interviews, word for word, that are steps towards me formulating my opinion. These interviews are with Greg Vogt and Lisette Withers. More has been said than this via email and phone but this is what they shared via email. It is obvious that both don’t accept any blame for elephant abuse but, interestingly, that does not make them on the same side. It’s no secret that Greg Vogt recently quit as manager of the park and that the separation created bad air. Social media posts and local rumours have named Vogt as the whistleblower but i have found no proof of such. Additionally, Knysna Elephant Park is taking him to court for different matters.

As these were intended as resources rather than complete interviews, i haven’t hammered anyone where clarification was needed or where there was conflict between interviews. As said, there will be a bigger article (later this week). Nevertheless, these interviews show insight into some of the people involved... who contradict one another. There is obviously interest in what they said as they've already been seen by thousands via FB and my blog page.

Let’s start with the Greg Vogt interview.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Lee Grandmaison
Everyone is entitled to their own...

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion." If you've ever seen or been in a debate, on or offline, you've heard this phrase quite a bit. Read more...

5 comments 137 views
Submitted by
johan609
South Africa heading South

We need to speak up. We need to take a stand. We need to take action. Read more...

9 comments 743 views
Submitted by
PC Barnes
Old flame

There's nothing quite so dangerous as the lure of what could have been. Nothing quite so attractive to our minds as missed opportunities, missed roads.  Read more...

0 comments 165 views
Submitted by
A Groovy Trooper
3 Every Hour

I would just like to highlight the fact that, according to the latest murder stats, we lose 47 South Africans to murder EVERY SINGLE DAY. That's 329 per week. 1,316 per month. Read more...

16 comments 1197 views
South African can crime can still...

The crime stats (2013/2014) have been released today and it is shocking. I am not going to consider the figures as they are not reliable because the stats are based only on reported figures. Read more...

21 comments 786 views
Submitted by
Manthole Morwa Kgwedi
“The forgotten transport infrastr...

The problems resulting from transport externalities have become a world-wide contested concern.  Read more...

3 comments 545 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.