On Friday 17th of February 2023, Members of the Pro Elephant Network sent an urgent open letter the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency and Members of the Executive Council about an elephant called Tswale who is currently being utilised for human interactions on a piece of land which is being advertised to be auctioned on the 23rd February 2023.

This letter follows two previous communications to the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency on the 30th September and 16th of November 2022 which have not been acknowledged.

Tswale a bull elephant was captured at Selati Private Game Reserve in 2004 aged 9 with a female elephant named Modjadji aged 11, he was translocated to Elephants for Africa an elephant training facility in Limpopo, in 2006 they were translocated to Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve in Hectorspruit where they were utilised in the elephant back safari business.

The EMS Foundation offered the owners of Modjaji and Tswale the opportunity to retire the elephants in 2019, this offer was rejected.

While the elephants were chained Modjaji and Tswale suffered injuries in 2022 when they were spooked by hunters and or when a herd of wild elephants entered the property upon which they were being held. Modjaji’s was not able to recover from her injury.

This is the third elephant in captivity to have died unnecessarily in 2022 in the Mpumalanga Province.