Opposition to leopard move slated

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Lisbeth
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Opposition to leopard move slated

Post by Lisbeth » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:16 am

Translocation applicant defends plan to save stock-raiding big cats

Weekend Post (South Africa)6 Jul 2019Guy Rogers rogersg@tisoblackstar.co.za

Buffalo Kloof co-owner Warne Rippon has strongly defended his application to have four Baviaanskloof leopards transferred to the private-public reserve southeast of Makhanda, after a court granted an interim interdict at the weekend temporarily suspending the move.

Rippon said on Thursday that the leopards face being shot or poisoned on the farm near Steytlerville where they presently reside because they are attacking livestock, and Buffalo Kloof would give them sanctuary, plentiful wild prey and fierce security.

“The farmer wishes to farm livestock, not dead stock, and has mandated the department of environmental affairs to capture and relocate these leopards to the state-owned land that forms a huge part of the Buffalo Kloof Conservancy.

“The compensation option is not viable for the farmer and he is under no legal obligation to accept it,” Rippon said.

Territorial clashes between the incoming leopards and resident ones would not be a problem, he said.

“We have had camera traps on the ground for the last 20 years and no resident leopards have been identified.”

Earlier this week, Dr Bool Smuts of the Landmark Foundation, who brought the application for an interdict, hailed the June 29 ruling by the Port Elizabeth High Court.

Smuts said it was a victory for leopard conservation and that the planned translocation would have sparked a damaging leopard trade.

He said regulations had been flouted, that the transferred leopards would clash with resident leopards and that the change in habitat would not suit the newcomers.

He questioned why so many animals were involved in the planned move and argued that if translocation was implemented as a leopard conservation strategy, the animals should be moved to a state conservation area.

Rippon said Smuts seemed to know little about Buffalo Kloof or its ownership and his reasons for challenging the leopard transfer appeared to be aimed simply at raising the profile of his organisation.

“He has never visited this reserve, so how can he say the habitat is not suitable?

“Threatened or protected species regulations have been adhered to and Buffalo Kloof is a declared protected area secured by an anti-poaching corps of 16 former US Marines.”

While the enterprise did include an ethical hunting aspect as well as conservation and tourism, as a protected species leopard would never be hunted on the property, Rippon said.

“Buffalo Kloof is the culmination of my lifelong objective to create an area for the protection of critically endangered species.

“It includes land owned by the local Yendella community, the Eastern Cape government and the private sector.”

Rippon said camera footage indicated all four leopards could be targeting livestock, and the farmer wanted to get rid of the big cats.

“It was not a matter of how many we wanted to relocate but rather the situation where the farmer needed to protect himself after losing 32 sheep.”

The matter is due in court again on July 28 when Smuts has said Landmark will apply to have the interim interdict made permanent.

Rippon said he would not be opposing the application but he expected that the department of economic development, environmental affairs and tourism as first respondent in the matter would do so.

The department’s regional environment head, Dayalan Govender, said on Monday that he could not comment as the matter was sub judice.
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Peter Betts
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Re: Opposition to leopard move slated

Post by Peter Betts » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:54 pm

My good friend from my home town Adv Shaun Cole is co Owner ..of Buffalo Kloof and he is sueing this Smuts dude for Millions for putting those leopards in danger of being Poisoned shot on the Goat farm ..My younger son was used as bait to lure info out of Smuts ..The decision will be reversed by Tues latest and the Leopards will come to Buffalo Kloof

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Re: Opposition to leopard move slated

Post by Richprins » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:44 am

Interesting that they say they use retired US Marines for security! ..0.. \O
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Re: Opposition to leopard move slated

Post by Flutterby » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:11 am

Interesting insider info Peter! \O

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Lisbeth
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Re: Opposition to leopard move slated

Post by Lisbeth » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:14 am

:ty: Peter! I hope that is what's going to happen \O
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