Giraffe electrocuted by power cables

2012-03-19 11:34

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.”

  • natasha.fukuchi - 2012-03-19 11:51

    Very tragic and unnecessary deaths of our precious animals... I hope that Eskom come to the party and make the power boxes and surrounds safe for all creatures in Marloth Park.

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-19 12:01

    Tragic indeed however what about the rich foreigners to come to some of these private game reserves for trophies.Can we stop these unnecessary deaths or is capitalism just too much of an obstacle?

      charmaine.rowlands - 2012-03-19 14:46

      as an earth muffin i wholeheartedly agree, however.... and this is the big one - hunting, (if carried out by licensed professional hunters, carrying the correct permits) is considered as CONSERVATION. This in turn brings revenue in to DTI which supposedly benefits the country. Bonafide hunters hunt within the perimeters of the law hunting only those species that they are allowed to hunt. Not much is wasted by the way (still awful tho). Sad about this giraffe, my sister has a lodge in Marloth Park and the animals are much loved there :(

      Peter - 2012-03-19 16:37

      Very few of "these" private game reserves offer hunting. You can point fingers at trophy hunting in general, but in this case you are pointing at the wrong people. Many of the "exclusive" game lodges would not get clients if they offered hunting - I suggest you do a bit of research before pointing fingers.

  • Rudie - 2012-03-19 12:09

    This is what happens when you have your head in the clouds.

  • Grant - 2012-03-19 12:14

    Let us see if "Brian Dames" delivers, if so as they say "give the man a Bells" Let us hope he is not just another "Johnnie Walker" all talk no action.

  • ekstroh - 2012-03-19 12:44

    Eskom should be held responsible for the loss of these Giraffe... pay up !!!!!....these power cables should be placed under ground....this is unacceptable !!!!as one of the home owners of Marloth Park.

  • Skuiter - 2012-03-19 13:47

    wonder where the braai was held?

  • Peter - 2012-03-19 16:44

    I think all the owls that are killed by power lines are just as bad. Big birds like cranes also fly into them. Eskom does try to address the collision issue, and quite a few other issues - they deserve credit for that.

  • wendy.gainsford - 2012-03-26 10:08

    As a result of Mr Brain Dames's intervention, the Distribution Staff responsible for ESKOM in the area, was given ONE WEEK to fix this problem. On Sunday 25 March, there were some 31 contractors - each with more than one team_ and army of some 250men - some 150 vehicles in Marloth Park to complete this job in One day YES Mr Dames has KEPT his word and shown his concern for our animals - PAT

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