Elephants captured to supply safari tours

There’s sad news coming out of the New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. According to a letter from the organization, it appears ten elephants have been captured in the Matabeleland South Province and sold to the tourism industry. Several of the elephants were reportedly bought by a co-owner of the Elephant Experience in Victoria Falls.

An excerpt from the NZSPCA letter explains in more detail:

“The elephants were captured in October 2008 and whilst ZNSPCA heard “rumours” regarding this capture, after investigating both Chengeta Safaris and Elephant Experience, and asking the permit office at Parks for details,  we met with the Director General of National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority who assured us that no permit for such a capture had been issued.  We were obviously relieved to hear this news and assured ourselves that we had been given the correct information and since we could not find the elephants on both facilities we were confident that this cruel act had not happened.

Yet the elephants were indeed captured.  Mike Le Grange from AWMC  captured 4 elephants on the 21st October 2008 and another 6 on the 22nd October 2008. “

“The elephants range from 4years old to two female elephants of about 18 years old.  They are housed in a metal boma  with no shade or shelter and are chained continuously, only being released for training.    The elephants are sprayed with water during hot days to keep them cool.

ZNSPCA Inspectors noted that some elephants had old wounds on their legs which could have been caused by the chains as well as wounds on their foreheads.  According to the information supplied to us, no vet was present at the capture or has examined the elephants since the capture.”

Glynis Vaughan, chief inspector with the NZSPCA, is investigating this case further and inspectors are continuing to monitor the captured elephants.  The Zimbabwean also reported on the elephant capture last weekend.


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