DRAFT REPLY APPROVED/AMENDED
MRS B E E MOLEWA, MP
MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
(For written reply)
QUESTION NO. 2784
INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO. 32 NW3433E
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12 October 2012
Mrs M Wenger (DA) to ask the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs:
(1) Whether, with reference to the media statement by SANParks on 28 August 2012 about the death of 30 roan antelope while in an enclosure in the northern part of the Kruger National Park, the exact cause of death has been established; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) whether an investigation has been conducted to determine whether human error contributed to the death of the antelope; if not, why not; if so, (a) what are the relevant details and (b) how will such deaths of roan antelope be avoided in future;
(3) what is the estimated population of roan antelope in the Kruger National Park after the death of the 30 antelope?
Mrs M Wenger (DA)
SECRETARY TO PARLIAMENT
2784. THE MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS ANSWERS:
(1) The cause of death of a total of 45 roan antelope in the Capricorn Breeding Enclosure was confirmed as anthrax. Anthrax, which is endemic to the Kruger National Park (KNP), is a highly infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. There is currently an outbreak of anthrax in the northern parts of the KNP.
(2) Yes, an investigation has been conducted which suggests that the deaths of the antelope could have been avoided through better monitoring of the camp and its drinking troughs. In future, the camp will be inspected twice per week, drinking troughs will be covered with branches during the day to prevent vultures from using it, and the troughs will be regularly cleaned and disinfected when anthrax is known to be in the area.
(3) There are currently 13 roan antelope remaining in the Capricorn Breeding Enclosure, 35 in the Nwaswishumbe Breeding Enclosure, and an estimated 40-50 free roaming animals.”
The Minister stated that the camp will be inspected twice per week and that the drinking troughs will be covered with branches during the day to prevent vultures from using it. My question about this now is, does this mean that the enclosures at both Capricorn and Nwaswishumbe be visited twice per day, early morning to cover the troughs and then late afternoon to remove the branches in order to allow the animals to drink.
Please draw your own conclusion about how this was handled.
I am still continuing with my request for a thorough investigation about this matter to be carried out by experts in the field.
Can it be safely assumed that the persons (s) responsible for (not) monitoring and overseeing this essential task resulting in the loss of 45 roan are competent to be entrusted with this task ?