Cause of death of elephants Kasper and Kitso revealed (South Africa)
Tumelo Waga Dibakwane, Lowvelder
May 5, 2022
The two iconic elephants of Hazyview Elephant Sanctuary, Kasper and Kitso's
cause of death has come to light.
The duo died while under sedation during relocation efforts from the
Lowveld to Kleinmond Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Cape on April 23.
They died due to mechanical issues with the cranes used to move them,
causing them to be under sedation for longer than usual.
The owner and the custodian of the elephants, Craig Saunders, said the two
bulls did not respond to reversal drugs designed to wake them up, and this
resulted in their deaths.
“The agency responsible for issuing the permit for the relocation process
from Hazyview to Kleinmond, the MTPA, launched a procedural enquiry
following the deaths of Kasper and Kitso, requesting a full report from the
supervising veterinarian, Douw Grobbler, also well known for his
considerable experience in elephant relocation. We have followed all the
procedures, and a post-mortem was conducted by a qualified veterinarian,
and the cause of death was discovered. We are still devastated by the loss
of our two beloved elephants. They will be missed by people who used to
visit the Hazyview Elephant Sanctuary, the animal carers and my family,”
“Kasper and Kitso’s habitat in Hazyview had come under increasing social
and environmental pressure. There was a helicopter spraying crops in the
area, which posed an adverse effect on the elephants’ health and their
habitat. Unfortunately, we could not expand the size of their existing
location, and so it was essential to relocate them to a new space just
outside Kleinmond to live out the rest of their days,” Saunders said.
The MTPA was unavailable for comment.