City of Joburg

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

Johannesburg Zoo


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World Elephant Day: Zoos needed to protect dwindling numbers

The Joburg Zoo welcomed hundreds of visitors by hosting an Open Day to observe World Elephant Day. Chairperson of the Board, Mr Edgar Neluvhalani highlighted the growing plight of dwindling populations of elephants due to poaching, climate change, habitat loss, urbanization and human-elephant conflict.

Neluvhalani emphasized, “Zoos on the backdrop of the plight of elephants in the wild, needed to, now more than ever, work with all stakeholders to contribute to captive-managed elephant research and studies”.

“Space will always be a contentious issue for Zoos”, added the Managing Director of Johannesburg City Parks and Zoos (JCPZ) who maintained that the Joburg Zoo remains complaint with all legislated obligations, including the strict set of code of ethics developed by the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria (WAZA) and the requirements of the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD). He maintained that, “Every child, no matter what the circumstances, is entitled to enjoy a life-changing experience of a visit to a Zoo, to foster responsible citizenry”.

The elephant integration plan of the Joburg Zoo is in its third stage of implementation aimed at housing all three elephants in the same enclosure. Concerns surrounding safety of the elephants near the moat have been addressed and the zoo has made significant progress in extending the size of its enclosures. This will exceed the stipulated minimum space requirements, as outlined in the entity’s Elephant Management Plan, adopted by GDARD. Future plans for the enclosure include improving enrichment-activity nodes, as well as enhancing visitor and learner experience.

The Joburg Zoo took the opportunity to also pay tribute to its oldest pachyderm, 40 year-old elephant, Lammie who in recent months has been in the spotlight since the loss of her companion Kinkel and the subsequent acquisition of two more elephants, Mopane, 19 and Ramadiba, 22 by the Zoo. Lammie enjoyed taking centrestage as she chewed on a bouquet of leaves and fruit and enjoyed a special birthday cake, tailor-made for her.

This was to the amazement of the children who had brought along posters to wish her a happy birthday and who joined in the festivities of the celebrations that included talks and an experience of seeing the skeleton and dung of an African Elephant.

“World Elephant Day at the Joburg Zoo, ensured that visitors left with an heightened awareness of the environment that they live in and outlined the important role each one of us has, in protecting the rich ecology found on the continent,” added Maduka.

Issued on behalf of
Bryne Maduka
Managing Director of Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ)

Jenny Moodley
Spokesperson: Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo
T: 082 803 0748/082 906 1515
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