Hamilton animal shelter cleared out after dozens of local families adopt, foster during COVID-19 pandemic

Hamilton animal shelter

SOURCE: Animal Friends Humane Society

If you walk into the Animal Friends Humane Society in Hamilton, expect to see it nearly empty.

The Humane Society posted on Facebook on Monday saying it was in urgent need of people to adopt and foster its animals in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To prepare for the possibility of not having enough healthy staff/volunteers to care for our shelter animals in the coming weeks, we are faced with having to place as many animals as possible outside of our shelter,” the Facebook post said.

The shelter ran a “name your price” adoption event this week and said 40 animals were available.

On Thursday, the Humane Society posted an update on Facebook saying that in just four days, with the exception of three dogs still available for adoption and five dogs housed in the stray dog wing, the shelter had been cleared out.

Hamilton animal shelter cleared out

“This not only lessens the burden on our staff and volunteers, but more importantly it ensures those animals will not have to endure the majority of their days alone in the shelter should we be forced to close down,” the Humane Society wrote.

Hamilton animal shelter empty cages

Source: WLWT5

Maintain the best health for your feline friend

Maintain the best health for your feline friend - Whiskas

The current health crisis has resulted in uncertainty and turmoil around the world, but there is an opportunity to turn this negative into a positive, as we remember what is precious and truly matters – our family, our friends, our communities and our pets. As we continue to focus on health, we are reminded that it is necessary to take certain steps to look after the pets we so dearly love, to help prevent disease and ensure they stay happy, healthy and by our side for many years to come.

Below is a list of good daily habits to keep your cat in tip top shape.

    • Maintain good dental hygiene – Good oral hygiene can help prevent diseases or secondary infections, such as liver, heart, kidney, and joint disease from bacteria originating in the mouth and spreading through the body via the bloodstream. A cat’s teeth needs to be well taken care of and kept clean. Providing dental treats is possibly one of the easiest solutions to help look after your cats’ teeth. Whiskas DentaBites is the first cat treat that is endorsed by the British Veterinary Dental Association (BVDA) and is currently the only cat treat in Europe that is scientifically proven to reduce the build-up of tartar. They have a special texture that is designed to gently clean tiny cat teeth as they come into contact, helping to reduce and remove the build-up of dental deposit.

      Best of all, Whiskas DentaBites are delicious with a tasty, crunchy outside and an irresistible soft centre they will simply love. The recommended daily feed is 16 kibbles a day and something you can include in your cat’s life with ease.

    • Brush your cat every day – While cats are very clean creatures with saliva containing natural deodorants and cleansing properties, they do need a little help every now and then. Some advocate a bath once in a while, if your cat is willing, but the best thing to help your cat with grooming is regular brushing. It will help remove excess hair, which leads to hairballs.
    • Clean House – Cats are clean freaks, so be sure to keep their litterbox clean and fresh. If you don’t, the risks are that particles from a dirty litter box can be transferred to pets and to humans. Additionally, if your cat ‘holds it in’ from not wanting to use their dirty litter box, it can lead to a myriad of urinary tract diseases (UTI), bladder inflammation, kidney blockage and failure.
    • Give Your Kitty Vitamins (if she needs them) – If you cat is generally healthy, a good quality food is all that is needed. However, if your pet has a vitamin A or vitamin D deficiency as instructed by the vet, you can provide her with the appropriate supplement! However, you should only give your pet these vitamins if your veterinarian has instructed you to do so.
    • Provide Toys – Toys aren’t just for fun. They provide some much-needed exercise for your kitty, and help prevent boredom. 

So, while we spend more time at home over the coming weeks, be sure to enjoy the company of your precious pet and take the necessary steps to enrich their lives and protect their health.

For more information on Whiskas care and treats, visitwww.whiskas.co.za/cat-care-and-treats/

Source: WHISKAS®

Other posts by WHISKAS®

China completely bans consumption of exotic animals

exotic animals

Asian palm civet in a cage. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

On Monday China’s government approved the decision to ban all consumption and trading of wild animals, while the use of wild animals for scientific research, medicine and exhibition will be strictly controlled.

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee approved the ban on Monday in a bid to help ‘safeguard public health and ecological security,’ according to China Central Television (CCTV).

Andrew Cunningham of London’s Zoological Society said, ‘Live wild animal markets, such as the huge wet markets in China…are ideal places for zoonotic virus emergence to occur’ and a number of scientists agree that the coronavirus epidemic was caused by the consumption of a host animal.

‘There has been a growing concern among people over the consumption of wild animals and the hidden dangers it brings to public health security since the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak,’ said Zhang Tiewei, a spokesman for the top legislature’s Legislative Affairs Commission.

Despite a lack of scientific evidence, there is still a widespread belief in China that consuming wild animal products such as rhino horn, tiger and lion bones and civets can cure diseases or improve sexual function.

According to EWN, ‘There already are laws in place against the wildlife trade, but conservationists say they are full of loopholes regarding many species, and that enforcement is episodic or just plain lax.’ There is hope that the new ban will be strictly enforced.

Chinese authorities initially suspended wild animal trade on 26 January in a temporary ban to help stop the spread of the virus, a move that was welcomed by conservationists and groups like The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The complete ban of trade and consumption of exotic animal is expected to be lauded by these groups too.

Source: Getaway

These Rescue Animals Are Perfectly Imperfect (10 Pics)

rescue animals - Captain Hook

Captain Hook became a pirate cat due to an injured eye. He has also had reconstructive surgery on his functional eye due to an incomplete eyelid. He’s very timid and very attached to another cat that was trapped with him – Tinkerbell. This dynamic duo, affectionately nicknamed Tinkie and Captain, are still waiting to meet their humans – for now, they’ve lived at PlumPets animal shelter in Plumstead, Cape Town. This photograph was a challenge to get – he refused to come out of the safety of his cat tree. So, I sat quietly with him, getting to know his gentle soul while listening to his beautiful purr. The image is a bit grainy due to the high ISO I had to use, but I believe it adds a bit of mystery and magic.

#2 Chuck

rescue animals - Chuck the cat

It was love at first sight when I met Chuck at PlumPets animal shelter. He was a tiny non-descript kitten who made a beeline to my lap. On closer inspection, I realized there was something wrong with his mouth. I was heartbroken to hear that his chances of adoption were slim because he is “different” but that it was ok because they keep all the “rejects”. I couldn’t let that happen – I had to have him in my life. Four years and one dental surgery later, he’s the most precious wonky-jawed boy. No matter what life throws at him, he finds a way to push forward. He inspires me to be the best I can no matter how tough life can get. I’m beyond grateful the animal rescue organizations that work tirelessly to help the helpless and, in particular, to the ones that give perfectly imperfect animals a second chance.

#3 Diego

rescue animals - Diego

Handsome boy Diego has a special nose – like his namesake the saber-toothed tiger from Ice Age. He was surrendered to TEARS with his mom (who had cat flu) and siblings when he was just a few days old. His human mom met him when he was just 13 weeks old and it was love at first sight. “He’d been overlooked until my daughter spotted him. We had to have him in our lives.” Today he lives happily in Kirstenhof, Cape Town, surrounded by a loving family of cats and a dog called Moose. He might struggle with allergies and sounds like Darth Vader when he breathes, but he’s loved, happy and home.

#4 Whiskey

rescue animals - Whiskey

Fluffball Whiskey was adopted from the SPCA in Grassy Park, Cape Town. His mom says, “Who knows what horrors he went through but in the process lost his ear and his tail. He was such a skinny little boy and was so weak his little feet would just slide out in front of him.” But that’s in his past, today he’s living his best life as an indoor bunny with his bestie Soda in Bergvliet, Cape Town. He loves eating kale, carrots, and apples while giving endless soft cuddles. During this shoot, he hopped around enjoying a touch of sunshine and grass tickling his feet.

#5 Mr.Grey

rescue animals - Mr Grey

He may only have three legs, but that doesn’t slow Mr. Grey down one bit. He’s happy to be a foster fail – he comes from Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha and they suspect he was hit by a car. His human mom took him in while they were waiting for his leg to be amputated (“It couldn’t be saved and was just dead weight,” she says). Well, he stole their hearts and now he’s kicking back in Parklands, Cape Town surrounded by a house of brothers and one sister.

#6 Selcuk

rescue animals - Selcuk

Beautiful Selcuk was rescued as a puppy in Turkey where her ears were brutally cut off – this was fairly common at the time as a way for people to identify the strays. When her dad found her and knew he had to have her in his life, he moved the world to bring her home to Pinelands, Cape Town. It was an expensive and difficult journey but today she’s a shy, gentle, kind soul who loves belly rubs and quiet words of encouragement. She took a long time to get to know me, and the day I wanted to photograph her, she refused to come out of this room – I had to improvise by joining her on the floor.

#7 Layla

rescue animals - Layla

Sweet Layla was only about five to six weeks old when she was brought to Dr. Rozanne Visser, a vet who was helping at a Tin Can Town outreach in Blikkiesdorp, an informal settlement in Cape Town. She had a large open wound on her chest and a bad ulcer on her right eye. Unfortunately, her eye couldn’t be saved and had to be removed – but while that was happening, Dr. Visser fell in love with her and adopted her. Today she’s living her best life in Parklands, Cape Town, and really doesn’t believe she’s any different to any other dog out there.

#8 Anushka

rescue animals - Anushka

Darling Anushka has gone blind in one eye due to excessive scratching caused by a food allergy. She’s very affectionate and loved her moment in front of the camera in the PlumPets cattery, where she’s patiently waiting to find her forever home. While she knows her forever family is out there, she’s being well looked after and loved by PlumPets, an animal shelter located in Plumstead, Cape Town.

#9 Master Jack Sparrow

rescue animals - Master Jack Sparrow

Feisty ginger Master Jack Sparrow is another foster fail who lives with Mr. Grey in Parklands, Cape Town. He was adopted from DARG in Hout Bay, Cape Town. One of his eyes did not develop correctly, while the other has a deformed eyelid. He will have the dud eye removed, and corrective surgery on the other eye that also has a cataract. It’s highly probable that he will go completely blind, but because he’s not going anywhere he will be able to find his way around his home. He is highly energetic and attached to his new brother, Mr. Grey – they spent ages racing around the garden chasing bugs and one another, barely sitting still for long enough for me to snap a photograph.

#10 Bello

rescue animals - Bello

Bello lived in a colony that two elderly ladies were feeding. Unfortunately, they were no longer able to care for the cats and phoned PlumPets to remove them. The most troubling thing about the colony is that many of the cats had incomplete eyelids – including Bello. He’s had four separate surgeries to fix his eyelid (this photo was taken shortly after his last surgery). He may need to undergo a fifth surgery depending on how his recovery goes. Although Bello is not feral, he is very shy and takes a bit of time to get to know you. But, he’s hopeful that his forever home is out there. For now, he’s living at PlumPets animal shelter in Plumstead, Cape Town.

Source: Bored Panda



Poachers Kill World’s Only White Female Giraffe And Her Calf In Kenya


Poachers Kill World’s Only White Female Giraffe And Her Calf In Kenya

An extremely rare white female giraffe has been killed by poachers in Kenya, along with her calf.

According to conservationists, rangers found the bodies of the female and her calf in a village in north-eastern Kenya’s Garissa County.

One other white giraffe, a male birthed by the late mother, is still alive and is thought to be the only remaining white giraffe in the world.

Poachers Kill World’s Only White Female Giraffe

The death of the two giraffes was confirmed by Garissa County Conservation Center in a press release posted to social media on Tuesday, March 10.

The statement said, according to ‘images sent in by the community’, the body of the mother giraffe was ‘in a skeletal state after being killed by armed poachers’.

Mohammed Ahmednoor, the manager of Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy, said:

This is a very sad day for the community of Ijara and Kenya as a whole. We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffe.

Its killing is a blow to tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species, and a wake up call for continued support to conservation efforts.

This is a long term loss given that genetics studies and research which were significant investment into the area by researchers, has now gone to the drain.

Poachers Kill World’s Only White Female Giraffe  - Northern Rangelands Trus

SAD NEWS : Ishaqbini-Hirola Community Conservancy in Garissa County loses two famous white giraffes (the only female giraffe and her calf) to poachers.For more information, here’s the press release. Kenya Wildlife Service KWCA USAID Kenya European Union in Kenya Embassy of Denmark in Kenya and Somalia Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi The Nature Conservancy in Africa Conservation International, Africa Field Division

Ahmednoor went on to say tourism will be affected as a result of the deaths, marking another loss to the area, as the white giraffe was a ‘big boost’ to the tourism industry.

The white giraffe made headlines in 2017 after its discovery, with its unique white appearance a result of a condition known as leucism, which causes partial loss of pigmentation in an animal.

Unlike Albinism, animals with leucism continue to produce some dark pigment in their soft tissue, and so the giraffes’ eyes were dark in colour rather than red as typically seen in instances of albinism.

When the female white giraffe first made headlines, she was discovered alongside her calf. A second calf followed, and the family of three lived within the confines of the sanctuary.

Poachers Kill World’s Only White Female Giraffe  - Ishaqbini-Hirola Community Conservancy

The body of the mother is thought to have been there for around three to four months and was found alongside that of her youngest calf, who seems to have died from hunger after the mother died, Newsweek was told.

Hopefully those responsible will be caught and brought to justice.

Source: Unilad


Children in Atlantis are becoming animal heroes thanks to weekly class

Children in Atlantis are becoming animal heroes

Photo Credit: Supplied

A weekly dog training class for children has seen growth in the community, as the children learn to respect animals and report cases of cruelty.

Atlantis, South Africa (10 March 2020) – Three years ago Yvonna Hertog and Clare Banwell started a weekly dog training class for six local children from Witsand informal settlement and their dogs. Today, there is a waiting list to attend the Clever Kids Smart Dogs NPO 220-367 class.

Every Saturday morning a small team of volunteers works with 40 children and their dogs to foster compassion, safety, respect and responsibility. Yvonna, now the chairperson of this non-profit organisation, believes that by teaching compassion for dogs (in fact, all living things), we can do something to break the cycle of violence in our beautiful country.

Research shows that violence causes trauma and stress and reduces empathy. Trauma and stress can alter a young person’s brain functions, impacting learning, causing behavioural problems, and igniting a cycle of violence.

“By teaching the youth to love and care for their dogs, the importance of vaccinating and sterilising pets and basic dog training skills, we hope to give them a sense of pride and purpose in their community. We encourage them to become leaders in taking responsibility for their pets and in encouraging those around them to do the same.” –  Yvonna Hertog, CKSD co-founder and chairperson.

In fact, by raising their levels of compassion the children now play a key role in reporting animal abuse, neglect or accidents. They get help for dogs on short chains, abandoned puppies and kittens and emergency cases such as dogs hit by cars or victims of fire, etc.

“Since these classes started the dogs in Witsand have started to look much healthier, they eat better and their skins look good. The children are sharing that dogs must eat dog food instead of pap and rice and that they need injections to stay healthy.” –  M. Nelson, local school principal.

Chad (13) and his dog, Lucy, (pictured below) have been part of the programme for over a year and share an incredible bond:

“Every morning when I wake up and she sees me, she starts dancing, which makes me happy. She also keeps me comfortable when I am alone and she listens nicely when I speak to her.”

The children are expected to adhere to the code of conduct that prioritises safety, respect and responsibility during class but also wherever they find themselves. All dogs in the programme are sterilised once old enough and the children are strongly encouraged to remain in school. Maxeen Basson is a social worker who volunteers her time to assist with issues escalated by the CKSD team of volunteers.

Kathrin Hellbeck, CKSD volunteer training and development manager is so incredibly thankful for the team of dedicated volunteers who make the programme a success. With no government funding, they rely solely on private donations to pay their vet bills, provide food for the dogs and to take the children on educational outings.

The Clever Kids Smart Dogs team are always looking for regular donors and more opportunities for the children to learn about careers in animal welfare and beyond. If you have any suggestions or contacts please get in touch with them at cksdteam@gmail.com

Children in Atlantism - Child with Dog

Source: Good Things Guy

Dogs Can Smell Bad People – Confirmed by Scientists

Dogs Can Smell Bad People

Have you ever noticed that your dog had an aggressive attitude toward certain persons?

After recent research into the domestic field, scientists were able to confirm that dogs can smell the bad people, reading human gestures and facial expressions.

Dogs Can Smell Bad People

Dog knows when a person is untrustworthy.

A more complex study by Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews proved that dogs can make a distinction between a decent/nice person and a bad person.

Dogs Can Smell Bad People

The researchers performed a very interesting experiment on many different dogs and come to a surprising conclusion. Take a look at the following video

Source: Knowledge Time

COVID-19 & Your Pet – What You Need to Know!

If you’ve remotely paid attention to the news recently, you’ve undoubtedly heard or read about COVID-19, a novel coronavirus infection. This is a serious and potentially lethal disease. CriticalCareDVM.com is dedicated to providing pet owners with comprehensive, up-to-date, and unfiltered details about various pet health conditions. To that goal, this week I’m sharing information about COVID-19 as it relates to our feline and canine companions. I hope you find the post information and will share it with other pet owners. 

COVID-19 & Your Pet

What is COVID-19?

To understand COVID-19, you need to know a little bit about coronaviruses. Coronavirus are a group of viruses that are enveloped and contained a single strand of positive-sense ribonucleic acid or RNA. The name coronavirus comes from the Latin word corona that means crown or halo. When viewed under electronic microscopy, coronavirus viral particles look like crowns because they’re covered in club-shaped protein spikes.

COVID-19 & Your Pet - Appearance of a coronavirus under electron microscopy

The appearance of a coronavirus under electron microscopy. Note the protein spikes giving the appearance of a crown or corona. Image courtesy of US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Other coronaviruses affecting humans with which you are likely familiar are severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Cats get their own coronavirus that typically causes either no clinical signs or very mild diarrhea. With that being said and for reasons veterinarians have yet to fully elucidate, feline coronavirus can change to a potentially lethal disease called feline infectious peritonitis. Similarly, dogs have their own coronavirus that can cause diarrhea, lethargy, and reduced (or loss of) appetite. Simply stated, cat and dog coronaviruses are very different than COVID-19.

In late 2019, a novel coronavirus called COVID-19 was first documented in people in Wuhan, China. As of 5 March 2020, more than 97,000 cases have been confirmed, of which 7,100 were classified as serious; 87 countries and territories have been affected with major outbreaks in China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran. More than 3,300 people have died, while more than 53,000 people have recovered. Based on published information to date, affected humans often develop a fever, non-productive cough, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. Pharyngitis (sore throat), rhinorrhea (runny nose), and sneezing are less common. Patients, particularly the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, can readily develop pneumonia and can die.

COVID-19 & Your Pet - Map

Can my pet get it?

On 27 February 2020, news broke of a Pomeranian in Hong Kong that tested weak positive for COVID-19. Subsequent tests have been performed, including by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and all have revealed similar results. Why was the dog tested? Its owner tested positive for COVID-19. Veterinarians and human health officials have been trying to determine whether there was actual human-animal transmission of COVID-19 or if there was environmental contamination that resulted in the dog’s positive result. On 5 March 2020, it was reported the OIE and Hong Kong Government “have unanimously agreed that the ongoing results of the Pomeranian dog suggest that the dog has a low-level of infection and that this is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission.”

The dog has been quarantined out of an abundance of caution, but has never had clinical signs of illness. According to Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department, the dog will remain in quarantine until it tests negative.

COVID-19 & Your Pet -  Picture of a Jackrussel

Based on currently available information, both the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) report there is no evidence cats or dogs (or other companion animals for that matter) can spread COVID-19. Furthermore, there is also no evidence pets get sick from COVID-19. Certainly, there is a lot more we need to learn about this novel coronavirus, so be sure to be on the look out for updates!

If your cat or dog develops respiratory signs like sneezing, nasal discharge, and/or coughing, you should have them evaluated by their primary care veterinarian as soon as possible. Dogs with upper respiratory signs are more likely to have canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC; aka “kennel cough”) while cats with respiratory signs are more likely to have herpersvirus, calicivirus, or asthma.

Will COVID-19 affect my pet’s healthcare?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 32 animal drug companies either make their drugs or obtain ingredients for their drugs from China. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) can contacted all of these companies, and to date, none of them have reported drug shortages. With that being said, at least six companies reported disruptions in their respective supply chains. Such disruptions could lead to drug shortages.

COVID-19 & Your Pet - Out of Stock Medication

Veterinarians commonly prescribe medications that are FDA-approved for humans because of a specific regulation that allows for extra-label drug use. This practice allows them to successfully treat a myriad of diseases for which there are no available FDA-approved drugs for animal use. This also means veterinarians will inevitably encounter shortages of these human medications, effectively making disease treatment in our cats and dogs much more challenging.

What should I do?

Although research is underway, there is no vaccine against COVID-19 currently available. Until we have an effective vaccine, we all need to exercise some common sense, including:

  • Don’t panic!
  • Stay informed – read unfiltered information from veterinarians as more data becomes available
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, including after handling / petting animals. This recommendation isn’t specific for COVID-19 – hand washing helps reduce the transmission of multiple infectious diseases! Watch the video below for a demonstration of proper hand washing

  • If you have COVID-19, restrict contact with pets and other animals. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), sick individuals should “avoid contact with animals, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.” Another family member or friend should care for animals in the household whenever possible.

A common question is whether you should wear a mask. Here are the current recommendations:

  • If you have COVID-19 and need to care for animals, wear an appropriate mask while interacting with them. Of course, wash your hands thoroughly!
  • If you’re healthy, there is no evidence wearing a mask confers additional benefits because masks are not airtight and don’t necessarily prevent inhalation of viral particles. Additionally, unwarranted mask use has led to mask shortages, negatively impacting the ability of human and veterinary healthcare professionals to properly care for human and animal patients, alike.
  • Don’t put a mask on your pet!

The take-away message about COVID-19 and pets…

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is not thought to cause clinical disease in companion animals, including cats and dogs. Common sense interventions like proper hand washing can help limit disease transmission. COVID-19 is an emerging disease, so we still have much to learn about its impact of animal health. Seek veterinary medical attention for your pet if you’re concerned they may be sick.

Critical Care DVM

To find a registered South African Veterinary practice please see our listed vets HERE

Minister Fritz Works with Animal Welfare Orgs to Establish Anti-Dogfighting Task-Team

Anti-Dogfighting Task-Team

Last week, the Office of the Minister Community Safety, Albert Fritz, met with members of the Cape Animal Welfare Forum (CAWF) to address the issue of dog fighting. It was agreed that a follow up meeting should be held with stakeholders including law enforcement, CAWF, the Department of Community Safety and Social Development to establish a task team that can immediately respond to cases.

Representatives in attendance included the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, Animal Welfare Society South Africa and the Department of Social Development (DSD). During the meeting, it was resolved that stronger links should be formed between the local offices of the DSD and CAWF where there are reports of young people who are involved with dog fighting. CAWF further expressed the need for a targeted communications strategy to create awareness of dog fighting.

Minister Fritz said, “I look forward to meeting with CAWF and other stakeholders to establish a task-team to respond to reports of dog-fighting. I have previously condemned the prevalence of dog-fighting in Ocean View and the Cape Flats communities; and re-iterated that the blood sport is both criminal and cruel. It was reported that there are an increasing number of school-aged children participating in dog fights. Where the dog loses the fight, they are destroyed by the child.”

Minister Fritz said, “Dog fighting is often linked to other forms of illicit or criminal behavior such as illegal gambling and trade of illicit substances. It is of great concern that young people are being drawn into dog fighting as they are seemingly being diverted into a life of criminality.”

In a study by the University of Tennessee in 2008, Hensley, Tallichet and Dutkiewicz conducted a survey based on the input of 180 inmates at a medium and maximum-security prison. It was found that repeated acts of animal cruelty during childhood was predictive of later repeated violent acts toward humans, showing a positive correlation between the two variables.

Minister Fritz said, “It is necessary that we address violence in all its forms. The Western Cape Safety Plan aims to halve the murder rate over the next ten years. A significant metric of violence is murders committed. Therefore, it is essential that we address all forms of violence to ensure that we achieve this goal.”

Source: DA

Rare twin elephants calves born at Addo

Rare twin elephants

Twin elephants at the Ngulube Waterhole in Addo Elephant National Park. Image credit: Christo Boshoff

Two baby elephants, which appear to be twins, have been spotted in Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape. Multiple births make up 1% of elephant birth rates, making it an extremely rare occurrence and sighting.

These two littlies were photographed by Jan Smit in January 2020, who shared the images on Facebook. Ranger Christo Boshoff also shared his photos of the pair at the Ngulube Waterhole in November 2019.

Twin Elephants - Facebook

Other sets of twins have been born in Addo Elephant National Park in the past. Twins named Dawn and Dusk who were born in 2004 and were the third set of twins to be recorded in the park at that time.

In December 2014, a 31-year-old elephant named Curve gave birth to twins, named Shaka and Dingaan, in Pongola Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal. At the time, elephant specialist Ian Whyte explained that typically one calf ‘hoards access to the milk and the less dominant calf cannot feed enough to survive.’

Scientists left Curve alone to try to provide her with a stress-free environment to help her ‘beat the mortality odds’. Despite the drought in the area at the time, which could have affected Curve’s ability to take in sufficient nutrition and in turn affect milk production, the twins thrived.

We spoke to elephant researcher Suzette Boshoff from White Elephant Safaris. Boshoff monitors the elephants and said that the twins, who are five years old and who have currently crossed the border into the Royal Jozini Private Game Reserve in eSwatini with their herd, ‘ are doing fantastically well.’

Below is a video of the twins when they were just two years old and still adorable.

Elephant Twin Update

News from the field of Research:Our twin elephants; Dingaan and Shaka are almost 2 years old! Here they are accompanying their Mom, Curve and their older brother, Luke..Enjoy!#JoziniPongola#WatchThisElephantSpace

Posted by White Elephant Safaris on Friday, 23 September 2016

News from the field of Research: Our twin elephants; Dingaan and Shaka are almost 2 years old!  Here they are accompanying their Mom, Curve and their older brother, Luke..Enjoy! #JoziniPongola #WatchThisElephantSpace

Part of the reason for the pair’s successful growth was that they were also nurtured by Constance, a young matriarch, who along with Curve had been orphaned during a culling in the Kruger National Park. Constance had lost calves and had a few stillborn babies and so her nurturing instinct was fulfilled in helping parent Shaka and Dingaan.

Other instances of recorded twin elephants include the birth of a male and female set of twins in Tanzania in August 2017. The two calves were dubbed Elon Tusk and Emma and were the offspring of Eloise a 57-year-old female and perhaps the oldest elephant to have given birth to twins.

These siblings were fortunate, as their mother was the matriarch of the herd and her ‘experience and wisdom’ helped contribute to their successful rearing.

Source: Getaway