Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 18 February 2010 Contents LOCAL NEWS
18 February, 2010 | Page 7
Year one and two pupils at Te Anau
School were awe struck last week after an
audience with one of the town's newest
The children from Room 2 got up close and
personal with a South African leopard.
Of course it wasn't alive, but it was real.
The leopard is one of South Africa's so-
called "big five", the collective name given
to its greatest wild animals -- the buffalo,
elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros. The
leopard is an endangered species and, as
such, cannot be traded. So how did one
come to be in Te Anau?
On May 1, 2000, Marie Adendorff's son
Louis was driving home from Pietersburg at
dusk when a leopard ran through the traffic.
It avoided the vehicles in the south-bound
lane but ran straight into Mr Adendorff's
car, travelling north.
"He ran right in front of my son's car and
he was hit and he died instantly," Mrs
Fortunately her son avoided injury but his
car was seriously damaged.
"When he was hit, he was so scared to get
out of the car because he didn't know if it
was dead or not."
He instead left it on the side of the road
where it lay and managed to make his way
to a police station where he reported the
accident. It was the police who instructed
him to return the next day and recover the
leopard's body. That job was left to a work
colleague and, even though the leopard was
lying close to the tar seal, it was extremely
well camoflagued and he drove past it a
few times before finally locating it. He later
complained the errand had left his vehicle
infested with ticks.
The body was inspected by Nature and
Conservation officials to verify the leopard
had in fact been accidentally killed on
the road and not poached. Mr Adendorff
was then given approval to take it to a
taxidermist where it was properly mounted
and he was able to bring it home.
When he moved to New Zealand, he placed
the leopard into his mother's safe keeping
and it took pride of place in her living room.
Following the death of her husband, Mrs
Adendorff moved from South Africa to New
Zealand in March last year to be closer to
her three children who all now live here -- a
son in New Plymouth, another in Winton
and a daughter in Te Anau.
However, her furniture container did not
arrive until the end of last year and, in it,
was the precious cargo.
But before that came a great deal of
paperwork. First she needed an export
permit from South Africa, then an import
permit for New Zealand, each time needing
to verify her legal acquisition of the
leopard. When the container finally landed
it was further inspected by the Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry.
Mrs Adendorff plans to return the leopard
to her son, now living in New Plymouth, but
until then it is in her Te Anau home.
And that's where inquisitive and excited five
and six-year-olds from Te Anau School got to
see and touch a real leopard.
"They were so thrilled. You should have
seen those little faces," Mrs Adendorff said.
"It was so beautiful."
Because leopards are enadangered and
because they spend a lot of time up trees
-- where they drag their prey to eat, out of
reach of scavengers -- even those who live
in South Africa are lucky to see one in the
wild. The only time Mrs Adendorff has seen
one live was in the Kruger National Park.
So she knows she has something very
special in her possession.
"I really don't mind sharing it," she said.
"I'm happy to share it with anybody."
Big cat big attraction for Te Anau kids
Room 2 at Te Anau School get an up close and personal experience with a leopard owned by Marie
Adendorff (right). Also pictured are Mrs Adendorff's daughter Rene Duvenhage and Room 2 teacher
Miriam Dudfield (left).
Marie Adendorff with the South African leopard
she has brought to her new home in Te Anau.
Funds from levies paid by cruise ships
visiting Fiordland will be used to help
investigate ways to prevent those vessels
bringing unwanted submarine visitors with
The possibility of marine pests being
brought into Fiordland on the hulls of
cruise ships is concerning Environment
Southland, MAF Biosecurity and the cruise
The council's environmental management
committee has resolved to give Cruise New
Zealand a $5000 grant from the Marine
Fee Reserve towards the cost of sending a
delegation to the US to discuss the issue
with cruise company representatives.
The Marine Fee Reserve is funded by levies
on cruise ships visiting southern waters.
Cr Nicol Horrell said marine pests posed a
major risk to Fiordland.
MAF Biosecurity is investigating new
standards for vessels entering NZ waters
that would help counter this risk.
Cruise levies to help with biosecurity research
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