elephant1Reading the below article really does remind us that elephants are by far more intelligent and intuitive than people give them credit for.  It seems this old boy is just getting from A to B and is gently making his way through the farmlands with minimal disruption and damage.  Lets hope he gets to where he needs to be without incident.  Its heartening to see the response of the local Namibians – one of respect and appreciation of a magnificent animal, who is after all, in his natural habitat.

P.S… has any one ever seen an elephant tip toe over a fence like this ?!  quite incredible ..

Excerpt taken from Africa Geographic

According to an article recently published in The Namibian a bull elephant has been making its way across commercial and game farms in the Hochfeld and Omitara areas of Namibia and has been the subject of concern.

elephant-climbs-fenceWhile some farmers in the area were thrilled at the sight of the elephant on their land, several people have pointed out that the elephant’s life could be in danger as a result of human-animal conflict. The concern rises from the fact that the elephant will probably cause some type of damage to farm infrastructure such as fences or water installations, and as a result, farmers and government could deem it a ‘problem animal’, with fatal consequences.

However, Colgar Sikopo, head of the Directorate of Regional Services and elephant-climbing-fence 2Parks Management, said that ministry officials are closely monitoring the movement of the elephant, and that thus far, he has caused minimal damage and there is no reason to interfere with his passage.

Sikopo admitted that last week a farmer in the area lodged a complaint, claiming that the elephant had damaged his boundary fence. A team was dispatched and reported back that the elephant had caused only “minor damage”, Sikopo said. Sikopo said that as far as the ministry is concerned, the elephant is moving in its natural habitat and there is no reason for anyone to be concerned about its well being or right to be there.

elephant-climbing-over-fence 3“The elephant is in the bush, although it is on a farm. This animal is in the wild. We just have to closely monitor it”, he said. Sikopo said the ministry does not see the elephant as a problem “unless there is really serious damages”.

Christiane Thiessen, whose farm Otjimbuku, the elephant visited, said she and her team on the farm were overjoyed with the sighting. Thiessen described him as non-aggressive and calm around humans and said his behaviour indicated that he was careful not to damage any infrastructure, such as the low fences, on her farm during his visit. “At arrival at the fence he lifted his legs and without doing any harm to the fence climbed over it. He was not bothered with us at all”.

The origin of the elephant remains unclear. An Erindi Game Reserve staff member on Friday said that they had driven out to view the elephant, and it did not match photographic records of any Erindi elephant residents.

Later, the Namibian published another article, addressing the situation where a hunter had put out an advertisement for a trophy hunt on two elephants in the Omitara and Hochfeld areas. The hunter in question has denied he was the author of the ad or linked to its existence in any way. In response to the ad, several Namibians expressed their concern yesterday that a trophy hunt is being advertised although no permits have been issued for this particular hunt and neither have the two elephants in question been declared as problem animals.

Jofie Lamprecht, the professional hunter, who was named as the contact person in the advertisement for the trophy hunt, denied that he was scouting around for buyers for the permits or that he was involved in the alleged ad. He said he had no knowledge of the advertisement nor could he explain why his name was linked to it. “There are no permits. They have not been declared as problem animals. There are people interested in hunting those animals, but nothing can be done before a permit is issued.” he said.

elephant-farmlandLamprecht told The Namibian that while there is discussions in the local hunting community around the fact that these elephants could possibly “at some stage be hunted”, no one would put the permit wheels in motion until after the animals were declared as a problem animal.

One of the Hochfeld farmers said that many farmers in the area were shocked and concerned when reports of the advertisement began circulating. “We are in a farming area and we would like to have all these wild animals back in the area. And why shoot an animal who is clearly so gentle and not doing any harm. Why should it be shot?” the woman asked. She added that while she would understand that measures would have to be taken if they caused severe damage, the farmers hoped that they would instead transport the animals back to a safer area instead of proclaiming them as problem animals.

4 March 2014