Thandora death shocks experts

Original source: News24

zoo elephant released into the Gondwana Game Reserve has died and experts are trying to determine the cause of death. 

© NSPCA - National Council of SPCA's

© NSPCA – National Council of SPCA’s

Thandora was held in captivity for 23 years before she was released into the wild this year with high hopes that she would adapt to the environment.

However, experts from Conservation Global were shocked and distraught to find that she had died.

“I am shattered having endured 36 hours of emotional rollercoaster that ended at 05h30 this morning,” Greg Vogt from Conservation Global told News24 after finding the elephant dead.

A post mortem has been carried out and the results may reveal Thandora’s cause of death.

There had been wide expectations that Thandora would live out several years on the reserve and there were indications that she had joined a herd.

It is unclear whether the death will impact of further efforts to re-introduce captive animals in SA back into the wild.

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Africa Geographic Editorial

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  • Jennie Harborth

    I guess she didn’t realise what ‘free’ was and was missing home….

  • Joy Neal

    :-( such sad news. I hope this doesn’t stop the release of other animal back into their natural habitats! So much good work being done by so many dedicated people.

  • Louise Joubert

    It would be pretty sad if her death jeopardized the chances of other captive animals back to the wild. The SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary has successfully introduced a number of captive wild animals to the wild after a rehabilitation program to prepare them for such a release. http://www.sanwild.org

  • guest

    Was she given lots of companionship and perhaps a transitional time with her regular keepers? Or was she simply moved and “freed” … elephants are very bonded to their caretakers and very social from what I understand. Hopefully this won’t prevent more releases ?

  • kalyaan kumar

    jut like people disposed mom and dad in old age home ????????? 23 years she lived with us like a member na!? suddenly!!!!!!? u people talking about freedom after 23 years…? g8…. long live humans!

  • Suzanne

    Very sad. Please keep us updated on what caused it.

  • Maria

    Hope it was a snake-bite or something natural like that and that it won’t jeopardize anything.

  • Guest

    Please have a look at the short video about Thandoras release onwww.facebook.com/conservationglobal it gives you an insight about Conservation Globals efforts to release this beautiful elephant into the wild again!

  • Conservation Global

    On http://www.facebook.com/conservationglobal you get exact information on Thandoras entire release to the point where she died. In a 3 min video, which I edited just the other day you can see how far Thandoras progress was to actually be a wild and free-roaming elephant again!

  • George Wyngaardt

    This was a very say event for me as I worked on the marketing of Thandora’s release into the wild, I had a very strong connection with her. Despite her dead , I want us all to remember that there are 100′s if not 1000′s of animals being held in captivity under poor conditions. We shall all take a stand together for the sake of the conservation of wildlife and nature. For those who don’t know her history , you can read her journal on the Gondwana website http://www.gondwanagr.co.za/news/thandoras-diary-gondwana-game-reserve

  • Jim

    You People are Nuts!, Go live in the wilderness and see if you survive after living in Society all your life!…These Animals bond with their Keepers and learn to depend on them just like you Folks depend on your Government to provide for you…Get a Clue!

  • Lori Robinson

    I cried and cried when I heard this news. I had written about her story on my blog http://africainside.org and how she gave all animal lovers hope for the future of rewilding captive animals. I pray this does not give the nay sayers more fuel for their “once captive, wild animals can not successfully be returned to the wild” argument. I will hold Thandora as a model for what can and should be done for captive animals worldwide. We must learn from our mistakes but not give up trying to free animals on a case by case basis.

  • Arlene Thatcher

    So sad..

  • Cristina

    I believe elephants have their “families” for life, therefore, “freeing” her was not really freedom, it was an annouced death sentence… what is it with people, don’t they get it that they real freedom comes from not keeping animals… and accepting that if for whatever reason they must be kept to save their lives, it is for LIFE that they must be kept. Freeing animals depends on the species, they are not the same as lions….

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