Our friendly family of pachyderms are the easiest part of what we do when it comes to elephants. When we hear people coming out of the field ‘blown away’ by their experience, it is invigorating and inspiring, and reassuring to know they will always view elephants in a new light. But other than the most fun part of being with the elephants, life at the Elephant Park includes:
- Working with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism on captive elephant management.
- Working with the Department of Agriculture on Elephant Management issues.
- Contributing to the development of animal care education courses for all animals in South Africa.
- Talking to thousands of guests about the headaches and heartaches involved in elephant management in South Africa.
- Ensuring the youth who visit our Park leave understanding more about critical conservation issues we as a country are facing.
- Delivering on our Corporate Social Investment promises. This includes our adoption of the Harkerville Primary School as a project by providing a source of international teachers to the school and raising funds for critical projects at the school.
- Contributing to the tourism mix in the area by participating in broader marketing strategies that draw people to the area. This extends as far as assisting in the organisation of events like the Pennypinchers Plett Easter Challenge.
- Development projects like Manzovo Theatre@Knysna Elephant Park that will be a drawcard to the area and it will create jobs for developing artists in the area.
In November 2008, we placed four elephants that were in need of a good home at two private game reserves in the Garden Route. In January of this year, two elephants (ex-zoo) were offered a new home at our other farm in the Eastern Cape. Few people know it, but our Eastern Cape farm is a retreat for elephants. No tourists visit this farm and the staff there are trained to ensure that elephants arriving at this farm stabilise from wherever they have come from, whilst we prepare to find them new homes if need be.