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"I am delighted that consistent pressure by civil society and the DA has finally resulted in Charlie the elephant being released from Pretoria Zoo," said the DA's Shadow Minister of Environment, Dave Bryant.
The South African National Biodiversity Institute announced that Charlie will be released into a wildlife sanctuary. The much-loved elephant has spent the last 22 years in the zoo where he has been confined after being retired from the circus.
In response to a DA Parliamentary question earlier this year, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, confirmed that the health of the animal had been checked recently and it was in good health. In reply to the DA’s call for Charlie to be released from the confines of the zoo the Minister had said that she was in contact with the relevant authorities and was considering the request.
Last year the DA wrote to the Minister personally to request assistance with the plight of Charlie.
"We are very heartened to hear that steps will now be taken to find a suitable sanctuary for the elephant. We would like to thank the Minister for taking the DA’s calls and the well-being of Charlie into consideration. It is now imperative that the Minister look into similar situations elsewhere in the country, including the case of the three elephants currently confined at Johannesburg Zoo," added Bryant.
The DA hopes that mediated solutions can be found in the best interests of all stakeholders, as has been the case for Charlie and the Pretoria Zoo.
Issued by Dave Bryant MP - DA Shadow Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries