JOHANNESBURG - The National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) has joined public outcry over Johannesburg Zoo's solitary elephant, Lammie.
The NSPCA has withdrawn from the zoo's Animal Ethics Committee after being excluded from decisions regarding the animal.
Lammie has been alone since September last year after the death of her mate Kinkel.
The elephant has been captive for 39 years and lived through the death of her parents and relocation of her brother.
The organisation's Wildlife Trade & Trafficking manager, Karen Trendler explained: "If you think of elephants in their natural habitat, they are very large, they are highly social, they're highly intelligent, and they have sophisticated communication."
Trendler said it was not ideal for Lammie's health to stay alone in a small enclosure.
She suggested Lammie be transported to an elephant sanctuary to be reintegrated to a herd of elephants.
The Humane Society Internationale Africa said in a statement that "elephant experts at HSI/Africa, EMSF and ERT are concerned for her mental well-being."
Campaigners have identified a suitable sanctuary, referred to as a rewilding sanctuary, that is willing to offer Lammie a home, with a group of elephants.