Elephant rescue by one of Loziba’s founding members

Wherever there are elephants alongside farmers, there is conflict. No farmer wants to wake up in the morning to find that a herd of elephants, as lovely as the animals are, has trampled his crops, broken his irrigation pipes and flattened his fences. In Kwa Zulu Natal where Loziba is located, it is no different. It’s extremely hard to prevent elephants from doing anything they want to do. The average African elephant will weigh between 5,000 to 14,000 lbs. (2,268 to 6,350 kg) making the control of this, the largest mammal in the world, difficult, to say the least.

In the past, the herd at Loziba broke out of the poorly fenced reserve, resulting in the death of one of the founders, Beyers Coetzee. In that instance, the Aspinall foundation stepped in with a million Rands to be spent on replacing the fence with a higher and stronger version and the elephants narrowly escaped a culling.

This week, Grant Fowlds, another of our founder members, was called on to help with a herd of elephants that had broken out of a different reserve in Pongola and were happily munching away in the sugar cane. Grant planned to fly a helicopter behind the herd, to encourage them to move back to where they had come from, but when he arrived he could see that it was not necessary. The elephants were heading home and in the heat of the day, he decided the emergency was not sufficiently dire to stress them further.

This type of action is expensive but critical to rescue the elephants. The herd had not been a threat to human life but, without intervention, they could easily have become one. 

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