Nature reserve denies claims of leaving elephant bull in solitary confinement

The elephant bull is required to have supplements with its food according to the NSPCA. supplied pic

The elephant bull is required to have supplements with its food according to the NSPCA. supplied pic

Published May 12, 2024


Cape Town - The nature reserve in Worcester, where three lions were left with severe burns and later euthanised by the NSPCA due to their injuries, has denied claims that they have been keeping an elephant bull in solitary confinement.

This week, the National Council of SPCA’s (NPSCA) raised concerns due to a lack of transparency on how CapeNature deals with Fairy Glen Nature Reserve.

They said it had been brought to the attention that a 43-year-old elephant bull had been kept in captivity and solitary confinement since 2008 and that they had requested the nature conservation permit and licence in terms of the Performing Animals Protection Act 24 of 1935.

They further stated that the animal was not receiving the necessary vitamins and food supplements during feeding time.

The NPSCA’s Jacques Peacock said they were calling for transparency and the inaction to end.

“Now, almost four months later, CapeNature is mum about the status of the reserve’s compliance with nature conservation and animal exhibition laws citing,” he said.

“The NSPCA has therefore submitted an application/request in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA) to CapeNature, wherein we shall seek information about the compliance status, as well as CapeNature’s dealings with Fairy Glen.”

The elephant bull is required to have supplements with its food according to the NSPCA. supplied pic

Peacock said a veterinarian had been appointed to review the animal’s special diet.

“The NSPCA has confirmation from Fairy Glen that the elephant is not receiving any supplements with its food and that the private facility relies on donations from the public to sustain the elephant’s feeding.

“The elephant only receives lucern, vegetables, hay and spekboom. CapeNature has an obligation, thanks to the NSPCA’s previous High Court litigation, to consider welfare in its decision-making regarding the animal.”

CapeNature in their response said they would continue to uphold the well-being of wild animals.

“CapeNature appreciates the role of the NSPCA and local SPCAs in terms of the Animals Protection Act, 1962 and the Performing Animals Protection Act, 1935.

“CapeNature confirms that every effort is being made to facilitate compliance by Fairy Glen.

“While the entity has made reasonable effort in pursuit of compliance by the facility, CapeNature is not at liberty to discuss the detail of its dealings with

Fairy Glen.”

Fairy Glen told Weekend Argus they did not neglect the elephant and were deeply concerned about its well-being and has been following a compliance order.

“It is denied that the elephant has been in solitary confinement since 2008 and we allege that all necessary steps have already been taken to address the risks referred to by the NSPCA (if applicable), of which the final solution are envisaged to be completed within the next 30 days, which inter alia includes moving the relevant animals to a reputable facility.

“In the meanwhile, all necessary steps shall be taken to ensure the well-being of the animals.”

During a previous interview with the paper, the reserve said they tried their best to save the three lions who were left injured during a wildfire in February 2024.

Weekend Argus