Category: conservation

conservation guardians
A Journey with Elephants by Greg Vogt – Conservation Guardians
Thandora – part 5

Who put who to bed?

It was a warm night and the sun set to a kaleidoscope of colours with Thandora setting a lone figure with a backdrop of beautiful mountains. I was checking mails on my phone and drifting off in thought when I felt a thud, and the car jolted and shook. I startled and turned to see that Thandora was leaning against the vehicle, a 4×4. She was using the vehicle as her sleeping pillar. Then she started snoring and I then realised she was just a scared little soul that wanted to be close to another being.

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feeding thandora
A Journey with Elephants by Greg Vogt – Conservation Guardians
Thandora – part 4

Thandora does not feel so welcome

Almost every translocation I have been involved in we arrive at our destination after midnight, and this one proved to be no different. The reserve staff were excited to be a part of the process and this meant that the numbers of the team had grown. More people, more ego’s, more chiefs.

I sat back knowing that in a few hours the adrenaline wears off and all will return back to normal. I made a suggestion that we set up a night-watch, but the suggestion was turned down, people were exhausted.

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animal welfare
A Journey with Elephants By Greg Vogt – Conservation Guardians

Chapter 1: The awakening

Thandora – part 3

Moral dilemma

It was at that moment that I knew my life was about to change. The moment I reported that I knew a plan was going down to take young elephants from their mothers to enter the tourism industry, I would be targeted. I knew that at some stage I was going to report the facts that I knew of and that hell would follow this. I would be accused, threatened, and emotionally assaulted by the culprits when they found out that I was the whistleblower.

This one simple example is representative of how some of the places get wild elephants into captive environments.

Not all of them, but some of them.

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elephant in captivity
A Journey with Elephants By Greg Vogt – Conservation Guardians

Chapter 1: The awakening

Thandora – part 2

After six years of working intimately with captive elephants, interacting with some of the world’s top vets, meeting leading elephant researchers and being invited to write the code of conduct for captive wild elephants in South Africa, I thought I had a grasp on the subject.

Thandora however taught me otherwise.

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elephant in captivity
A Journey with Elephants By Greg Vogt – Conservation Guardians

Chapter 1: The awakening

Thandora

For six years I had been waking up before the sun rose and my day began working with elephants. These were captive elephants, elephants that each had their own story, but no voice to tell this story to the world.

I had however been hearing their story being told by others for fifteen years.

Sadly in the year I was introduced to Thandora I had chosen to step away from working in this industry.

Thandora grazing in the fynbos (Cape Floral Kindom). A beautiful site for us humans to see, but is it really what Thandora wanted? Grazing and browsing for her was hard work for very little reward.

 

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