Our Partners & Collaborators

Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development Environmental Affairs & Tourism

Buffalo Kloof

Uitenhage Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)

American Chris Holcroft from Wild 911

Kester Vickery

Dr. William Fowlds

Dr. Annie Mears.

Conservationists versus a Royal Family: The Great Blaauwbosch Rescue

WeWild Africa, in partnership with Wild911 and the Uitenhage SPCA, spearheaded a major rescue operation at Blaauwbosch Private Game Reserve. This mission saved a total of 63 animals. 

Blaauwbosch, a reserve in the Eastern Cape, faced severe challenges due to mismanagement. The Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs & Tourism had issued multiple warnings and compliance directives to address the reserve’s deteriorating conditions, including insufficient water, inadequate forage, and poorly maintained fences. These issues led to several instances of elephant breakouts, as the elephants seeked sustenance, posing risks to nearby communities.

The situation reached a critical point in October 2019 when another elephant escaped and was nearly shot. The permit to shoot the animal was converted into a relocation permit, allowing for a more humane solution.

WeWild Africa spearheaded this massive rescue operation, which cost R900,000 and involved various stakeholders, including the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs & Tourism, Buffalo Kloof, the Uitenhage Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), American Chris Holcroft from Wild 911, elephant relocation expert Kester Vickery, and wildlife vets Dr. William Fowlds and Dr. Annie Mears.

The rescue operation faced legal challenges, with the owner’s representative arguing against the removal of the animals, citing improvements in the reserve’s conditions. However, the history of neglect and the urgent need for intervention were paramount for the rescue team. The owner took the entire rescue team to court the day when the elephants were planned to be captured. All partners stated the case on behalf of the animals on the property and won the case in Court with Sheikh having to pay all costs of the legal battle. The team went on to initiate the capture the following day.

WeWild Africa successfully coordinated the rescue of 11 elephants, 4 giraffes, 19 buffalo, and 29 wildebeest from Blaauwbosch. We are very thankful for the reserves who provided these animals with a forever home, especially Buffalo Kloof who took the entire herd of elephants when nobody else was willing to take them.

Among the rescued elephants was Harry, a bull elephant who was previously marked for death. His relocation to Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve and subsequent siring of an offspring symbolize the success and importance of the rescue mission. 

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