A wandering elephant on an Eastern Cape reserve owned by a wealthy Arab sheik, was shot dead at the weekend, sparking an outcry from conservationists. Claims were that if the authorities had clamped down harder and sooner on the owner after previous acts of alleged mismanagement — including not maintaining electrified fences and failing to address elephant herd dynamics — the shooting could have been avoided. Blaauwbosch Private Game Reserve near Kleinpoort is owned by Khalaf Ahmed Khalaf Al Otaiba‚ a prominent member of a powerful United Arab Emirates (UAE) dynasty that also owns Port Elizabeth’s Edward Hotel and Thaba Manzi Game Farm, near Humansdorp. The 4,000ha reserve was a booming five-star operation that had 65 staff when it was bought by the sheik in 2008. Read the full story here.  TMG Digital

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