Giraffe electrocuted by power cables
Buks Viljoen, Beeld
Pretoria - A giraffe bull has been electrocuted after walking into power cables at the Marloth Park private reserve near Komatipoort - the fourth giraffe to die in this way in the reserve in the last year.
In a desperate attempt to prevent further incidents, honorary rangers of Marloth Park, which borders the Kruger National Park, have packed stones around the electricity poles with transformers on top of them.
“Since losing two giraffes in April 2011 when they walked into power cables, we have negotiated unsuccessfully with Eskom,” said Pat Wilmans, chairperson of the Marloth Park landowner’s association.
A third giraffe died in the same way in November last year.
“As Marloth Park is very densely wooded, giraffe look for open spaces to graze. The roads where Eskom’s power cables are situated create such spaces,” said Wilmans.
There are between 30 and 40 giraffe in Marloth Park.
Eskom taking action
She said a highly endangered martial eagle recently fell victim to the power cables after flying into a transformer with its prey.
Since the latest incident last weekend, Eskom CEO Brian Dames has personally intervened to address the issue.
Apparently on his orders, Eskom workers held an emergency meeting in Marloth Park on Thursday, where suggestions and designs to secure transformers were discussed.
A follow-up meeting with the Nkomazi municipality will be held on Monday, said Wilmans.
The overhead power cables running through Marloth Park have an estimated 109 transformers which need to be secured.
“We have also been complaining for months about the poor condition of the power boxes, which have to be maintained by the city council.
“We recently lost a number of smaller animals like civets and even a warthog that were shocked to death at one of the power boxes.”