All posts by Sarah Smuts

Make a difference…..SMS for free to make Elephants Alive your charity of choice!

We have an amazing opportunity for Elephants Alive to benefit from your shopping at the stores across South Africa and the good news, its all for free for you. Thats right, “mahala”!

MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet are giving everyone a break on card cost fees from the 15th August to 15th September 2019  where they will be waiving the costs, so during this period each sign up for a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card is wait for it…..Zero! 

That’s right…they are making sign-ups easy. All our fantastic supporters need to do is SMS the word “JOIN” and the name Elephants Alive to 31231 e.g.Join. Elephants Alive and they will call you back to complete the sign up. (SMS is free)

MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet is South Africa‘s biggest community support programme which raises funds for charities in order to improve conservation, education and communities. It allows anyone to raise funds for their favourite charity. When you swipe your card at a partner store, that store will donate a percentage of your purchase to Elephants Alive, on your behalf.

Also you get great benefits by having a My Planet card:

  • Raise funds without it costing you a cent!
  • Receive exclusive discounts from selected partners, such as WRewards at Woolworths & Special offers from partner. You can find the latest special offers for cardholders here.
  • Receive a monthly statement via email showing you transactions and how much Elephants Alive has raised.
  • You can use your card at over 1 500 different stores. Find the partner stores in your area here.

Without your amazing ongoing support we would not be able to continue our important conservation work to protect our Elephants. So please sign up, share and help Elephants Alive fund raise for the future of these majestic creatures.

Bee Product Gift Packs

We are a hive of activity whilst preparing our special Bee Gift Packs to help raise funds. This will include elephant-friendly honey, honey-infused home-made soap, home-made lip balm made with our bees wax, an Elephants Alive bracelet and our new bee bracelet (coming soon!), and beeswax food wraps to reduce throwaway plastic. Included will be a Safe Guide to Viewing Elephants (produced by the Elephant Specialist Advisory Group) and an information pamphlet. Each package is hand- wrapped with love. We promote non-plastic usage and all products are sustainably harvested in the best interest of the bees, and are 100% organic and raw. We already have an order for all our current stock – new stock will be in place before Christmas, when the rains have hopefully arrived and the bees are making more honey.

Relate Bracelet

Elephant Specialist Advisory Group (ESAG) Workshop

This workshop formed part of the DEA National Research Strategy for Elephants, feeding into research projects under this strategy led by UKZN. The results of this research will provide greater understanding of issues of management concern, including around direct management of elephants and its unintended consequences, Human-elephant conflict and mitigation, and the broader socio-economic importance of elephants both on and off reserves. The results of the research will also feed immediately into the separate process run by SANBI to develop a National Elephant Conservation Strategy, to help enrich the thinking in developing that strategy.

ESAG workshop – Aging elephants

Matambu Gets Treatment For His Injuries

Wildlife Vet Joel Alves assessing Matambu injury . Credit: Mike Whatmore

We have been following Matambu for 15 years. Over the years Matambu has come to trust our research team, greeting us with low thunderous contact rumbles and often walking over to the vehicle to share a pool of shade with us. 

Matambu, meaning long legs in Shangaan, was the name bestowed upon this beautiful bull by Joubert de Lange who sponsored his collar. In 2013 we noticed he had problems with his sight. In 2017 the ophthalmologist, Dr. Izak Venter assessed his condition during a routine recollaring operation Nothing much could be done about his failing sight but his body condition was good as he clearly had learnt to live with his handicap. Not being a very social elephant, possibly due to his blindness, he has paid us a large compliment by snoring right next to our vehicle at arms-reach. With the afternoon siesta over he would give the lets-go-rumble for us to follow as he slowly moved off.

Recently we noticed that he was walking with great difficulty and was clearly in pain from an injury near the base of his tail which was also preventing him from urinating properly. Wildlife Vets (Drs. Ben Muller and Joel Alves) were quick to the rescue, cleaning the wounds and delivering large doses of anti-inflammatories. The prognosis didn’t look good at one stage and we feared we would lose him. However, miraculously he hasn’t succumbed to the suspected peritonitis. We are still keeping a watchful eye on this peace loving giant and are delighted to report that he now also has the Askari (named Whispers) keeping a watchful eye over him on the days we can’t check up on our old friend Matambu.

We are very grateful to Edwin Pierce and Almero Bosch from the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and Bryan Havemman from the Umbabat Private Nature Reserve for assisting and supporting the treatments of Matambu. Riaan de Lange kindly issued the capture permits.

Elephants Alive team helping Matambu back onto his feet after his operation.
Credit: Mike Whatmore