Nelly is a little less nervous

2013-03-16 00:00

GEORGE — A former zoo elephant who trampled a fence in fear of wild animals in her new home now listens calmly to the roar of a lion.

Thandora, who spent 23 years in the Bloemfontein zoo, was recently moved to the Gondwana reserve near Mossel Bay.

Nine days ago, she broke out of the one-hectare camp where she is acclimatising before being released into the company of four wild elephants.

Thandora is the first elephant in Africa to be released into the wild after a life in a zoo.

For the last four years in Bloemfontein she was alone, after her mate was put down when he became too aggressive.

Staff struggled to get her back into her enclosure, and then realised, when she took fright at a herd of gemsbok, that she was probably scared of other animals.

Since then she has been guarded day and night to prevent another break for freedom.

But now she seems to have calmed down, and reserve owner Mark Rutherford said she listened calmly on Thursday evening as a lion roared nearby.

“She started to recognise more animals that walk past her camp and is getting used to them,” he said.

Her diet and exercise programme were progressing well, and the reserve’s greatest challenge is to reduce her reliance on humans.

“Thandora is used to people and seeks comfort from them. It is difficult, because we have to help her exercise, but we are trying to encourage her to have less interaction with people.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.