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One elephant problem solved

One elephant problem solved

One elephant problem solved

Game Rangers International and the Zambia Wildlife Authority successfully relocated an adult male elephant from the Nega Nega area of Mazabuka District to the Kafue National Park in May. The operation was supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and members of the Mazabuka community, and implemented in partnership with Matobo Vet Centre and African Wildlife Management and Conservation.

The elephant was a 20-year-old male who had been resident in the area for a number of years but had recently taken to raiding the crops of local farmers. He was originally part of a trio of elephants that had reportedly moved to the area from the Lower Zambezi National Park.

Operations began at 06.30 on Saturday morning and the elephant was first seen and darted from a helicopter at 0815. The ground team then swung into action under the watchful eye of Dr. Ian Parsons and ZAWA vet Dr. David Squarre. The sedated animal was lifted onto the back of a crane truck and then carried to the larger transporter where it was revived prior to departure.

Many of the members of the affected communities turned out to witness the relocation and were happy that the animal was moving to a new home rather than being shot.

A convoy of vehicles set off to travel the 450km to Kafue National Park where the elephant was released from the transport crate at 1900, heading straight into the forest where it is hoped he will enjoy a long and peaceful life. The whole operation lasted just over 12 hours.

This exercise illustrates the increasing issue of human-elephant conflict in Zambia and while this operation was a success, it will not always be possible or appropriate to relocate so-called ‘problem’ animals of any species. With its partners, Game Rangers International is looking at new ways of managing and mitigating human-elephant conflict in Kafue National Park.

GRI would like to thank the following organisations and individuals who made this operation possible:-

  • International Fund for Animal Welfare (principal donor)
  • Zambia Wildlife Authority
  • African Wildlife Management and Conservation
  • Matobo Veterinary Centre
  • Zambia Sugar for logistical support
  • Bailey’s Roofing for the crane truck
  • Mukambi Safari Lodge for accommodation and food
  • Nick Patterson for logistical support
  • Guy Robinson and members of Mazabuka farming community, especially the Whitfield, Roberts, Coventry, Bhagoo and Quenet families
  • The communities and peoples of Nega Nega and Mazabuka District

More from this issue:
ZT17 (June 2014) - Main Menu
ZT17 (June 2014) - Full Content Listing

More from the Zambezi Traveller:
Kafue News