Chained Tortoises investigated by SPCA Assisi in Sea Vista

SPCA Assisi received information that tortoises were being kept on chains in St Francis Township. Inspector Tany Keyzer went to investigate.

On Tuesday, 01 October 2019, Inspector Tanya Keyzer consulted with Adriaan le Roux, Nature Conservation, Port Elizabeth and also worked closely with Captain Morne Viljoen (Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit) who kindly offered to have officers available should she need any assistance.

SPCA also contacted St Francis Bay SAPS whereby W/O Le Bok escorted SPCA to the properties that were identified as locations of the chained tortoises.

On arrival at the one property they found one large Tortoises (in an enclosed camp – not chained). We explained the situation to the owner (educating them about law and wild life).

They then proceeded to the next property but only found a shell. Evidence showed that it had been chained and shell painted white. Again it was explained to the occupant that a permit is needed to keep a tortoise.

OB entry was made at St Francis SAPS and tortoise was taken to SPCA Assisi.

Torti at Pabala making friends and living the life)

Named Torti, SPCA after monitoring his health and weight and after consultation with Gerrie Ferreira ( Nature Conservation), it was decide to release him at Pabala Nature Reserve who are in possession of a valid permit.

SPCA Assisi are aware of snares being used and will be doing a walk in the Nature Reserve on the 17th of October 2019 with Sandra Harding and the SNARE HUNT Group from St Francis Bay.

It is an ongoing operation and monthly walks are undertaken. Only two snares have been found previously over a three month period.

SPCA Assisi have arranged for local SAPS to notify us in case of any tortoises being observed in townships and informal settlements.

We urge the Public to please report any cases of cruelty DIRECTLY to your SPCA by calling them and sharing the information as soon as possible.

Edited – Facebook post

Operation Save Escaped Elephant From Being Killed

Mount Camdeboo orchestrates specialist translocation operation to save escaped elephant from being killed

An African elephant bull that escaped an Eastern Cape game reserve for a second time in recent weeks was on Thursday set to be shot. However, due to an expeditious, conservation response from Mount Camdeboo Game Reserve in joint partnership with the owners of the elephant, the Eastern Cape’s Department of Economic Development and a conservation task team of elephant and translocation experts, the bull is set to receive a reprieve from this death sentence.

Although this large bull of approximately 20 to 25 years of age has over the last few days, wandered across neighbouring farms and roads it appears to be an extremely calm and relaxed animal and thus far has not been a threat to anyone.

It is for this reason that the task team comprising of Dereck Milburn of the Aspinall Foundation, an expert dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife; Dr William Fowlds, a well-respected wildlife veterinarian; Brett Mitchell, an elephant expert of the Elephant Reintegration Trust; Peter Chadwick, a protected area and conservation specialist; and Mount Camdeboo (whose ethos is #conservationinaction), have put forward a far more pragmatic solution that will hopefully save the animal.

The Eastern Cape’s Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs were able to issue the relocation permit within a short time; whereafter it was concluded by the parties that it would be in the best interest of the bull to be translocated to Mount Camdeboo – who fully understand the risk of receiving this elephant. In only 30 hours, the task team faciliated the translocation of the elephant.

After initial immobilisation, via aerial darting, the elephant will be translocated for release at Mount Camdeboo by Conservation Solutions, whose expertise in safe, wildlife capture is well-renowned. Specialised equipment that will be needed to move this large animal has been specially transported from KwaZulu-Natal.

On arrival at its new home, Dr William Fowlds, his veterinary team, Conservation Solutions as well as a helicopter will be on standby for a period of up to 24 hours to monitor the elephant’s condition during and after the translocation. A satellite-tracking collar will also be fitted to allow for the constant monitoring of the bull as it settles into its new environment.

The bull will join a small breeding herd of elephants that were released on to the property in August this year. Despite this rescue plan, it is however recognised by all that this is an extremely complex operation with multiple risks still posing a threat to the elephant’s survival.

Dereck Milburn, the main coordinator of this monumental effort said, “the dedication from all parties has been absolutely incredible, and, without the initial call for assistance from Michele Pickover with the full support of John and Sandra Skinner, little would have been possible. Iain Buchanan and Mount Camdeboo Game Reserve have been indispensable throughout this operation, as have Patrick Grewar and the Elephants, Rhinos & People (ERP) team. The teams have gone beyond the call of duty to secure the life of this elephant. I am extremely confident that they will continue to do so to ensure the elephant settles in well. Wildlife 911, represented by Chris Holcroft, have also truly demonstrated their commitment to wildlife rescue by generously funding this translocation operation.”.

These synergistic efforts, unparalleled teamwork and unrelenting commitment to ensure the safety of the elephant have undoubtedly demonstrated that this teamwork approach can solve conservation challenges, such as saving the life of an elephant. It should be regarded as a benchmark as to how future complex conservation operations could be handled.

Press Release – 12th October 2019


NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy Project:

Sea Rescue presented the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy emergency flotation project at International Lifesaving’s biannual ‘World Conference on Drowning Prevention’ (WCDP) Conference in Durban last week.

NSRI Drowning Prevention Manager, Andrew Ingram, pictured here talking about the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy project to delegates attending International Lifesaving’s World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Durban this past week. – Picture by NSRI

A sponsored NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy stationed at a Jeffreys Bay beach with the permission of the Kouga Municipality.

NSRI’s Drowning Prevention manager Andrew Ingram addressed delegates from around the world explaining where the idea originated from, how it has been funded and implemented and that to date the Pink Rescue Buoys have been used to save the lives of 46 people who were in grave danger of drowning.

“There is a strong focus from the international lifesaving community on bystander rescue equipment and it was a pleasure to be able to share our success with this project with them,” said Ingram.

“We launched the Pink Buoy project in November 2017 following the WCDP in Vancouver after seeing that in a similar initiative Hawaii reported 150 successful bystander rescues with no harm to the untrained rescuer being reported in any of these rescues.” 

“Later we heard about a similar initiative in Ireland that was started in 1971 and has also had phenomenal success in getting emergency flotation to a drowning victim while emergency services are responding.”

“An observation from similar projects that are happening around the globe is that untrained people are going to the aid of someone who is in danger of drowning despite being advised not to. Our Pink Rescue Buoys use simple graphics to explain that it is better to throw the float to someone and call for help. But if someone does go into the water despite the danger, they have a much better chance of survival if they take flotation with them,” said Ingram.

“Sea Rescue has the support of many municipalities to put this emergency flotation in drowning hot spots. Each Pink Rescue Buoy costs R1500 and is privately sponsored which means that there is no cost to the municipalities,” said Ingram.

We currently have 463 Pink Buoys at drowning hot spots around the country. With generous support from individuals and companies we hope to expand the placement of the Pink Rescue Buoys into many more municipalities that would like to partner with us to save lives,” said Ingram.

Pictures attached: By NSRI:

NSRI Drowning Prevention Manager, Andrew Ingram, pictured here talking about the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy project to delegates attending International Lifesaving’s World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Durban this past week.

A sponsored NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy stationed at a Jeffreys Bay beach with the permission of the Kouga Municipality.

One fatality and three survivors after boat capsizes

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay

NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew were activated following reports of a boat capsized off-shore of Noordhoek on Saturday morning .

NSRI rescue swimmers in a sea rescue vehicle, EC Government Health EMS, the EMS Aeromed 3 helicopter, Gardmed ambulance service, Relay EMS, Coastal Water Rescue (CWR), Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Beach office and NMB lifeguards and the SA Police Services responded.

On arrival on the scene NSRI rescue swimmers launched into the surf to rescue a 37 year old local man who was in the surf near thecapsized boat. On reaching the man NSRI found him to be unresponsive and he was rescued onto rocks on the shore where NSRI medics initiated CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts and these efforts were joined by paramedics who provided advanced life support efforts but sadly after all CPR efforts were exhausted the man has been declared deceased.

It has been confirmed that four men launched on a fishing ski-boat earlier in the day and on returning from a morning of fishing and capsized in surf. Three of the men were able to get to shore unassisted and were checked by paramedics and they were not injured.

The body of the deceased man has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.

Police have opened an inquest docket and SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) are investigating.

Condolences are conveyed to family and friends of the deceased man.

The capsized boat was righted and recovered from the surf.

Big Wave Surfer Matt Bromley Is On A Mission

Donkey Bay – Cape Town big wave surfer Matt Bromley recently had an epic trip to Donkey Bay in Namibia, and scored some epic waves at this elusive, world-class destination. The waves weren’t as big or as heavy as first expected, but there were still some insane waves to be had.

“I met up with Keahi de Aboitiz and my regular South African Donkey Bay crew, staring down what looked like three days of pumping Skeleton Bay,” said Monster Energy team member Bromley. It didn’t quite turn out as planned, but in life things seldom do.

“The first day arrived and it was dead flat,” recalls Bromley. “It was only the following morning when we awoke to perfect drainers. We surfed from 7am until 6pm. We all got a few pretty sick ones and it was amazing to be back in the desert again!”

Bromley’s goal for the next year however, is to chase down the biggest paddle barrel in the world, for his upcoming film, ‘Over The Edge.’

“I’m really pumped to show everyone what we’ve got in the bag so far,” said Bromley. “So far it includes the biggest Nias ever surfed, Teahupoo and Dungeons, and we are still hoping to score Shipsterns, Jaws and Mullaghmore. It’s all about chasing the biggest paddle barrel in the world. We are hoping launch early to mid 2020.”

Donkey perfection © Van Gysen

Bromley has had quite an exciting year so far.

“My biggest achievement this year personally was probably the release of my two short films –

“Global Slab Hunter” and “Geographical Rarity” ,

– which documented big barrels around the globe and emotions and views from my dad and closest mates, as well as some major swells we scored at Sunset and dungeons last year,” said Bromley. “I also paddled into the tallest wave I’ve ever paddled out at Sunset in Cape Town.”

Follow Matt’s adventures over the next year on Instagram – @bromdog7

Distributed by – The Truth Collective –