Elephant comfortably ‘settled in’
Pachyderm should not remain at Rössmund in the long-term
28 February 2020 | Local News
The elephant at Rössmund is a unique attraction, but at the same time golf course management hope the pachyderm will move on.
“This is not his habitat and elephants do not belong here in the long-term,” says Dr Gert Cloete, the golf course manager.
According to Cloete, after the elephant’s arrival two weeks ago, numerous coastal residents have visited the golf course to see the pachyderm. However, some did not abide by the rules and drove around the golf course without reserve.
“We had to put up warning signs at the golf course. Since then, the number of visitors have decreased, but people are still coming here regularly,” he said.
However, Cloete sees the issue as a dilemma.
“Visitors often don’t show the elephant the necessary respect and even try to get close to him,” he said. “Some people just don’t understand that he is a wild animal and that they should keep their distance.”
It is because of this human behaviour that Cloete fears there may be an incident at some point in time. Should anything happen, the elephant will be classified as a problem animal and likely be destroyed.
“This is exactly what we all want to avoid,” Cloete said.
He added that he had even witnessed some small aircraft pilots flying “exceptionally low” over the river so that guests can catch a glimpse of the elephant. Such behavior could upset the animal and could lead to an unfortunate incident.
Most of the Rössmund residents are quite happy with the newest addition to their area.
However, Elephant Human Relations Aid (EHRA) staff recently informed everyone living there that “there are certain rules of conduct that should be adhered to should they run into their ‘roommate’,” Cloete said.
In the meantime, the elephant has developed a “routine”. The young bull spends the day in the river and in the late afternoon moves to the golf course, where he drinks and eats.
“He hasn’t done any damage yet, only pulled some branches from trees, but that’s all,” Cloete said.