Pretoria Zoo puts an end to Charlie's strolls

Published Jun 20, 2003


Management has been quick to take the necessary precautions to ensure there isn't a repeat of an episode earlier this week.

Charlie, one of four African elephants at the zoo, managed to escape on Monday evening for a stroll around his enclosure before being darted and transferred back safely into his pen.

Zoo director Willie Labuschagne said the outer wall of the dry moat into which Charlie fell would be raised by half a metre. The moat was several metres long and reconstruction would begin "some time next week".

The wall would be built with re-inforced steel and concrete to ensure no elephant would be able to knock it over, he said.

A management plan has been instituted at the zoo to oversee the building project, including the well-being of the elephants.

During the building project, added Labuschagne, the jumbos would be moved to a second enclosure and would still be on view to the public. He said they were quite used to being moved between the two enclosures.

Following his daring stunt Charlie, on the other hand, is being kept under constant surveillance during the day and in night quarters in the evenings to prevent any further nocturnal wanderings or moonlit strolls.

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