13th April 2022
The Co-ordinator of PREN has, today, addressed an open letter to the Honourable Minister, Barbara Creecy of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, the letter was also addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the South African National Biodiversity Institute and the letter was addressed to the Executive Director of the National Zoological Gardens.
COPY OF THE OPEN LETTER:
ENDORSEMENT OF THE EMS FOUNDATION PUBLIC STATEMENT OF CONCERN FOR CHARLIE AT THE PRETORIA ZOO
The Pro Elephant Network (PREN) as an international community of diverse individuals and organizations, comprising specific expertise, on wild and captive African and Asian elephants, including the fields of science, health, conservation, welfare, economics, community leadership, social justice and the law, has been respectively engaging with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment and meeting with SANBI, since December 2020.
On the 16th December 2020 members of PREN alerted the Honourable Minister to their concerns regarding the mental and physical well-being and welfare of Charlie, the bull elephant at the Pretoria Zoo.
PREN members have subsequently repeatedly requested that Charlie undergo an assessment by independent, renown elephant experts and, if the results of the assessments are in favour, that he be allowed to follow a rehabilitation program for reintegration in a more suitable natural environment, in collaboration with the Zoo and the EMS Foundation, a Member of PREN.
We are aware of the arduous and fruitless engagement process that took place between the EMS Foundation and SANBI representatives during 2021.
PREN fully endorses the actions of the EMS Foundation which includes the public statement of the 7th of April 2022.
PREN hereby formally requests once again that the South African Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment and SANBI, grant access to Charlie in order for an urgent, independent veterinary and behavioural assessment to be carried out.
We remain concerned for Charlie’s physical and mental well-being.
The following Pro Elephant Network Members signed in support of this open letter:
Owais Awan Advocate High Court, Islamabad
Suparna Baksi-Ganguly President and Co-Founder, Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Center, Bangalore, India
Dr Brett Bard Veterinarian, South Africa
Dr Jessica Bell Rizzolo Postdoctoral Researcher, the Conservation Criminology Lab, Dep of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University
Janey Clegg Committee Member, SPCA Mutare, Zimbabwe
Professor David Bilchitz Director, South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public and Human Rights and International Law – South Africa
Megan Carr Founder, Rhinos in Africa
Lenin Chisaira Founder, Advocates 4 Earth – Green Law Connect, Zimbabwe
Dr Betsy Coville Exotic / Wildlife Animal Veterinarian
Dr Harvey Croze DPhil (Oxon) Collaborating Researcher – Amboseli Trust for Elephants – Kenya
Nomusa Dube Founder, Zimbabwe Elephant Foundation
David Ebert Advocate, Founder Director of The Animal Defense Partnership – USA
Stefania Falcon Co-Founder, Future 4 Wildlife – South Africa
Daniela Freyer Co-Founder, Pro Wildlife, Germany
Michele Franko Captive Elephant Caregiver and Advocate – USA
Chief Stephen Fritz Indigenous Leader, South Peninsula Khoi Council – South Africa
Dr Toni Frohoff Ethologist and Behavioral Biologist, Founder of TerraMar Research
Dr Marion E. Garai Elephant Behaviour Specialist – South Africa
Dr Ross Harvey Environmental Economist, Botswana
Heike Henderson-Altenstein Director, Future for Elephants e.V.
Alok Hisarwala Gupta Lawyer, Animal Law – India
Iris Ho Head of Policy – Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA)
Peter Hodgskin Founder, Hands-off Fernkloof, South Africa
Sangita Iyer B.Sc., M.A., Founder of Voice for Asian Elephants Society, Nat Geo Explorer and Wildlife Filmmaker
Lynne James Independent, Elephant Conservation, Zimbabwe
Dr Mark Jones Veterinarian, Born Free Foundation – UK
David Kabambo Founder Director of Peace for Conservation – Wildlife Management – Tanzania
Dr Paula Kahumbu WildlifeDirect, Kenya
Professor Mohan Kharel Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
Nuria Maldonado Ecologist, Environmental Science, Max Plank Institute
Jim Karani Advocate, Lawyers for Animal Protection in Africa – Kenya
Dr Winnie Kiiru Founder, Conservation Kenya
Brigitte Kornetzky President and Founder of Elefanten in Not – Switzerland / India
Professor Bob Jacobs Neuroscience Researcher – Colorado College – USA
Kahindi Lekalhaile Africa Network for Animal Welfare, Kenya
Dr Smaragda Louw Director, Ban Animal Trading, South Africa
Dr Keith Lindsay Conservation Biologist, Amboseli Trust for Elephants – Kenya; Fondation Franz Weber
Giorgio Lombardi Warden Vogelgat Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
Linda Masudze Advocate 4 Earth, Zimbabwe
Varda Mehrotra Environmentalist, Climate Crisis Researcher – India
Dr Nurzhafarina Binti Othman Founder: Seratu Aatai, Elephant Conservation and Research Coordinator at HUTAN-KOCP – Malaysia
Sharon Pincott Elephant Behavioural Specialist, ex-Hwange, Zimbabwe
Bharati Ramachandran CEO of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations – India
Ian Redmond OBE Founder, African Ele-Fund and Elefriends Campaign, Chairman of Ape Alliance and Co-founder of Rebalance Earth
Ingo Schmidinger Elephant Husbandry – Co-Founder iScapes
Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach Veterinarian, Head of Wildlife Research and Animal Welfare, World Animal Protection International
Dr DJ Schubert Wildlife Biologist, Animal Welfare Institute – USA
Dr Liz Tyson Animal Welfare Law, Programs Director – Born Free USA
Antoinette Van de Water Director, Bring the Elephant Home, South Africa
Vasanthi Vadi Trustee of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations – India
Prof Dan Wylie Rhodes University, South Africa
Image Credit: EMS Foundation November 2021
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