Two elephants reportedly died before reaching the Kleinmond Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) in the Western Cape.
The African elephants, two bulls, were named Kasper and Kitso, and died during sedation according to reports. The pair were being moved “because of the stress they were being subjected to from the routine crop spraying performed by low flying helicopters at the adjacent farms in Hazyview (Mpumalanga)” as Craig Saunders, the owner of the elephants explained to News24.
He added that “excessive noise and toxic chemicals” were deeply affecting them.
“Preparations for the move started two years ago. No effort was spared to help the process along. We never expected that a day we looked forward to for so many years would end in such tragic loss,” a message from Saunders expressed.
Saunders had bought some of Lamloch Farm, outside of the small town Kleinmond in the Western Cape 8 years ago. He envisioned the two elephants moving to Kleinmond as a better environment for the animals as opposed to the Lowveld placement, as Lowvelder reports.
Saunders expressed that the loss of their two”babies” has devastated the staff at the sanctuary. The KWS has rescued 11 elephants over the years, including the Kasper and Kitso who had been cared for by the Saunders and KSW staff for two decades.