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Lammie at the Johannesburg Zoo

I must say, especially with the Johannesburg Zoo probably less than 1km down the road from us in Jan Smuts Avenue, the story of Lammie caught my eye.  She is a 39 year old female elephant living all alone at Johannesburg Zoo.  Her partner died in September 2018 and her parents died long ago.  What is even more disturbing is that she had a brother that was relocated to a Zoo in France.  I understand the role that Zoos play in promoting a love for animals to people who sometimes cannot afford to see them in their natural environment, such as the Kruger National Park, but I cannot see why you need to split up a family in what is already an unnatural environment.

The EMS Foundation and the Elephant Reintegration Trust are all campaigning for her to now be moved to a sanctuary where she can be together with other elephants.  Let’s hope the Johannesburg City Mayor, Herman Mashaba, gives some consideration to this and taking some action.  Apparently now she spends most of her days just standing lonely outside the gate of the elephant hut.  You can e-mail the Mayor at his e-mail address:

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 11-Feb-19 Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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patrick  said:
on Wednesday 03-Apr-19 10:26 AM
Zoo's are inhuman but as you say they are a way of bringing wild animals to those we cannot afford to see them in a natural environment.

Prishani  said:
on Tuesday 05-Mar-19 01:49 PM
I watched a story about this on carte blanche, it is very sad that animals have to be treated this way and I hope it gets enough media coverage for the responsible people to act on it!

Henrietta  said:
on Tuesday 05-Mar-19 12:43 PM
I have heard before that Elephants are a lot like humans, in the way they care and grief. We went to Kruger National park one year and a lot of elephants were grieving the death of a baby elephant and you could just feel the sadness. the way the just stare and not moving a muscle it felt like we were intruding. As a human how would you feel being in a cage all by yourself, I can't even imagine what Lammie is feeling right now.

Cornelie  said:
on Tuesday 05-Mar-19 09:11 AM
It is so sad reading and hearing stories about animals I feel there must not be Zoo's etc animals should be free you can see on her face she's sad lets hope she gets moved.

Helen  said:
on Monday 04-Mar-19 01:31 PM
I and my girls have seen Lammie few times and it is very heartbreaking to watch her standing so lonely outside the gate. I also hope something can be done and she can be reunited with her family again!

Sinead  said:
on Friday 01-Mar-19 03:56 PM
This is heartbreaking!!! I don't think people think about things like that when it comes to animals. They have families too and deserve to be with them and/or others of their kind.
I think it's quite cruel to keep animals behind glass or in a cage. Nothing should be caged for others' entertainment!
This is especially saddening because elephants are said to have the best memory of all animals. Imagine what must be going through this little creature's mind...

Hopefully something can be done for poor Lammie!

Zindy  said:
on Friday 01-Mar-19 08:27 AM
Wow, this broke my heart. I really hope that the do relocate her with other elephants. If only there was a way to get her back together with her brother I would love to see the reunion. Elephants are very clever and they say never forget. I always wonder what animals are thinking. Is she thinking she did something wrong that she is now alone, she may deteriorate a little quicker than normal.

Jolene  said:
on Monday 25-Feb-19 09:03 PM
This breaks my heart, Elephants are very emotional animals. She must be so lonely and sad. We were at the Pretoria Zoo not too long ago and it was scary to see how the animals are neglected.

Melissa van Tellingen   said:
on Monday 25-Feb-19 08:31 AM
This is so incredibly sad. I've seen many documentaries of elephants actually die of heartache when losing a family member. She looks so sad. I'm hoping someone can step in and help this poor girl be happy again.

Shristi  said:
on Sunday 24-Feb-19 05:31 PM
I visited theJohannesburg Zoo not so long ago and was rather upset to see the state that Lammie was in. I just hope that EMS Foundation and the Elephant Reintegration Trust are able to succeed in their campaign to have Lammie moved to a sanctuary.

Joyce  said:
on Thursday 21-Feb-19 05:11 PM
I think it is sad, she's all alone. Hope the campaign by EMS Foundation and the Elephant Reintegration Trust be successful

Daniella  said:
on Wednesday 20-Feb-19 03:22 PM
I've actually been following this story closely as I find it very disheartening that they have left an elephant alone in an animal enclosure Elephants develop strong social group bonds and losing friends can result in significant grief and trauma. There was recently a protest at the zoo and I really hope that they do the right thing

Zandelee  said:
on Wednesday 20-Feb-19 12:11 PM
I recently went to the Johannesburg Zoo, and it was quite sad for me to see some of the conditions these animals are living in. I do understand that Zoo's are there for entertainment, but I still believe that animals should be free in the wild.

Thabitha  said:
on Tuesday 19-Feb-19 07:50 AM
This is sad maybe they must find a friend or bring back the brother, what if they move her from Johannesburg Zoo and she doesn't make it because she is been there for years and to her that is her home.

Ashleigh  said:
on Monday 18-Feb-19 03:40 PM
My heart hurts for animals. They cannot tell us what they feeling but they can certainly show it and all the signs will be there. I pray that they find some compassion in their hearts and something is done to help her situation.

Alexis  said:
on Monday 18-Feb-19 03:37 PM
Quite sad to say the least, and elephants are family orientated animals much like a buffalo. Let us hope that something can be done for her to live her old age in a place of sanctuary instead of loneliness

candice  said:
on Friday 15-Feb-19 04:51 PM
That is very heartbreaking i think they need to get another Elephant as clearly this elephant is very sad and has become withdrawn. Or they should put it in a Sanctuary where he will be around his kind. Its great to see these Beautiful Animals at a zoo but its also sometimes unfair they should not be kept in small surroundings .

Angelique Jurgens  said:
on Friday 15-Feb-19 11:22 AM
The Johannesburg Zoo's response was a completely different song. Lammie does not have tusks and cannot fend for himself out in the wild. I hope that Lammie can start a new life with other elephants around. What is happening is certainly a form of animal cruelty. It's really sad that the different committees and key role players cannot agree on Lammie's fate.

Jadine Richards  said:
on Thursday 14-Feb-19 04:42 PM
It is so sad that she has to spend her days alone. That is no way to treat such a beautiful animal...well any animal at all. I hope everybody takes a minute or two to pop an email through that may change the life of this wonderful creature.

Megan  said:
on Thursday 14-Feb-19 12:53 PM
It really is heart wrenching hearing about these animal families being split up. I've never thought of a Zoo being a place for people who cannot afford to see them in their natural habitats, as you've stated, until now. I still don't think it's right for animals to be held captive. I think it would be best to send Lammie to be with her brother in France but of course that's costs the Zoo isn't willing to incur as she is quite an attraction there and revenues might go down.

brumilde  said:
on Thursday 14-Feb-19 08:46 AM
I read also that they are considering a couple of things, maybe to get a new partner or company, whatever they do must be in HER best interest. And I am sure a few people have different ideas, so they have to sort it out and see what works

Michelle D  said:
on Thursday 14-Feb-19 08:42 AM
I read an article on News24 regarding Lammie's future. There are worldwide movements to exclude elephants from zoos as they are big creatures that require constant roaming in their everyday lives.

courtney  said:
on Tuesday 12-Feb-19 04:43 PM
I was at the Zoo 2 weeks ago, I was wondering why there were only 1 elephant. Now I know. This is heartbreaking. She is beautiful and so big. No one deserves to grow old alone, animal or human. I really do hope they get her a friend A.S.A.P

Victoria  said:
on Tuesday 12-Feb-19 03:20 PM
Elephants are definitely companionable creatures and it is extremely sad that she is alone now since her partner has died. I definitely agree that they need to move her as soon as possible to a sanctuary. She is probably going through depression because she is all by herself. I really hope the JHB Zoo and Herman Mashaba take action to sort this out.

Jessica M  said:
on Tuesday 12-Feb-19 02:03 PM
This is so bladdy sad. Shame I do hope she will get put together with her own kind. It is sad to see that this poor Elephant is left alone doing nothing.

Mathilda Du Preez  said:
on Monday 11-Feb-19 12:20 PM
I heard about Lammie on the Radio she and Kinkel was together for 17 years before he passed away.
I do hope they relocate her to be with other Elephants.
This is heart breaking and I will definitely not support Johannesburg Zoo until same has been done.
I really think people should be made aware of Lammie and boycott Johannesburg Zoo.

Lucretia  said:
on Monday 11-Feb-19 10:29 AM
I will definitely be sending Mr Mashaba an email as an animal activist, I always try and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Elephants are sociable animals, especially the females who live in herds and help each other with the young. Elephants are also extremely intelligent animal with memories that span years, how can keeping her all alone with her memories be good for her. I beg you Mr Mashaba do what is right, send her to be with her own kind. No one wants to die alone........

Natasha  said:
on Monday 11-Feb-19 09:37 AM
This is soooo sad Elephants aren't animals that likes to be alone they like being around other elephants.I emailed the City Mayor to please move her to a sanctuary so that she can be with other elephants

Bianca N  said:
on Monday 11-Feb-19 09:14 AM
This is heartbreaking. I feel so sad for this poor elephant living alone.

Hoping that she is moved to a sanctuary with other elephants.

Michelle Smillie  said:
on Monday 11-Feb-19 08:37 AM
Shame, this is really sad. People don't always think about animals and how they feel. And Elephants are very emotional animals, I feel sorry for her. I'm definitely holding thumbs that the Johannesburg Mayor thinks more about the humane thing to do here rather than what will bring in most money, as politicians usually do.

Angelica Canosa  said:
on Monday 11-Feb-19 08:36 AM
Elephants are the sweetest animals.
It is not fair that they separated her and her brother. Shame it's sad to see her so lonely and depressed... just so she can be the amusement of humans. Its the role of humans, who care, to give a voice to those that are powerless.

Biancat  said:
on Monday 11-Feb-19 07:26 AM
This is so sad to read, splitting up a family makes no sense at all, hope the can get a friend for her, can't imagine the loneliness she feels, ill avoid going there now just not to see that


Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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