Monique Mortlock | about 2 hours ago
CAPE TOWN - A herd of eland have been released back into the Cape Flats for the first time in 200 years.
Today, five of the animals were re-introduced back into the Rondevlei Nature Reserve as part of a pilot project by the City of Cape Town and the Environmental Education Trust.
Led by their handlers, three females and two male eland trod gingerly through their new home.
The smallest female, named Little P, stood a few metres behind the herd as she cautiously nibbled on leaves.
The Gantouw project aims to use the eland to curb the encroachment of vegetation in Cape Flats nature reserves.
The animals, who eat more than 24kg of vegetation a day, will be moved to other reserves at a later stage.
The Trust's Petro Botha says the absence of the eland has resulted in vegetation overgrowth and the encroachment of bushes in nature reserves.
“What we hope is to monitor the impact the eland will have on the vegetation. We also hope, with them back in the reserve, is that they will once again browse and that it will lead to an increase in biodiversity; because it will open the reserve and allow smaller species’ an opportunity to grow again.”
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)http://ewn.co.za/2015/12/18/Eland-re-in ... -200-years