/ 13 July 1999

Tuli elephants offered home in Knysna

OWN CORRESPONDENT, Johannesburg | Tuesday 5.00pm.

The Knysna Elephant Park said on Tuesday it had access to R600000 to transport, house and feed 14 Tuli elephants who were abused on a plot outside Brits in the North West province.

It said in a statement the money would be made available by the International Fund for Animal Welfare should the park succeed in its bid to get the elephants.

The funds would be enough to construct a boma where the animals would sleep at night and to pay for their keep for the first year.

The park reported a groundswell of support from individuals and organisations for its bid.

It claimed it was the ideal home for traumatised elephants, saying it had successfully rehabilitated three orphans so far — Harry, Sally and Duma.

”One of our biggest assets is Sally. She is a wonderful mother, and has already shown that the presence of the right matriarchal animal is crucial to the success of the rehabilitation process.”

The park said experience had shown that traumatised elephants released into the wild invariably became a problem and had to be shot.

”There is always hope for animals like those in the Tuli group if they are treated with love in a controlled free-range environment where they can make the choice as to whether to approach or walk away from humans.”