The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has grave concerns regarding the proposed establishment of the Lamloch Safari Park, due to open in the Kleinmond area by Mr Craig Saunders. By the name alone, it gives the impression of the true South African Bush setting, but in reality, it is a zoo that is designed for wild animal interactions and a life in captivity.
Plans to introduce 8 African elephant, 3 lions, and 2 black rhino to the park are underway with the application to secure permits. The NSPCA believe that the area intended for this is inadequate and unsuitable for the species, and this will substantially compromise the animals’ welfare.
There is local and global growing concern regarding what is required for elephant interactions and elephant in captivity. Mr Saunders, who owns a number of elephant interaction facilities, was also involved in the Tuli Elephant case in 1998-2003, where 30 elephants were captured and trained cruelly for tourism and entertainment.
“We are perplexed that there are still captive wildlife facilities that are cropping up, surely, as a country that has beautiful National parks where elephants and other wild animals get to live their lives out naturally, that we would have moved away from keeping these animals in captivity” said Karen Trendler, Manager of the NSPCA’s Wildlife Trade & Trafficking Portfolio.
The NSPCA has approached Cape Nature and are unhappy with the dismissive tone that has been received – rather than interacting with the NSPCA, Cape Nature has referred the NSPCA to apply for information through the Public Access to Information Act regarding certain species. Cape Nature have been forthcoming with information relating to the approval of the management plan for game animals, yet they have made no mention of the management plans for elephant and lion. This begs the question – why is there a lack of transparency?
As the leading animal welfare organisation in South Africa, and one that is mandated to enforce the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962, the NSPCA is appalled by the lack of transparency received from Cape Nature.