Crowds cheer as IFAW resumes elephant move in Malawi

AerialPhirielephantsLOW This material was relayed back from our communications team on the ground in Malawi.

After a brief suspension, the International Fund for Animal Welfare resumed its elephant capture operation today in Malawi.

The helicopter reconnaissance flight looking for elephants started at 7am and just 30 minutes later, the team had identified a group of about 30 elephants which separated into family groups.

A group of nine elephants – five males and four females (comprising three adults, five adolescents and one very young calf) – were herded towards the recovery vehicles and successfully darted.

MalawiCrowdscheerLOW The recovery went without a hitch and the elephants were transported on the flatbed vehicles to the transport vehicles A crowd of 800 to 1000 people gathered along the road to celebrate the elephant’s departure.

The nine elephants arrived at Majete Wildlife Reserve at 6 this evening and have been released into the boma where they will be held for approximately 24 hours. Once the door is opened, the elephants are able to depart at their own free will into their new and secure home.

The next capture is scheduled for Saturday 20th June. Stay tuned!

Comments: 7

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

Thanks for the update, Phoebe. Fantastic news!

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

Thank you for your care and concern for the elephants of Malawi's Mangochi District.
The translocation of the elephants is being undertaken to mitigate increasing human-elephant conflict in the area. The 30 villages, populated by more than 3000 subsistence farmers, run along the shores of a lake, which forces elephants to walk through villages and farmland to get to their water source. Crops and property have been damaged, both villagers and elephants have died, and many elephants have been maimed by villagers attempting to protect their crops and livelihoods. The relocation of the elephants to Majete Game Reserve will eliminate the human-elephant conflict.
Before deciding to move the elephants, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife consulted a group of independent experts and decided the only viable solution was to move the elephants to a secure, protected area - Majete Game Reserve. Prior to the move, a six-week community outreach program revealed that the majority of the communities supported the relocation efforts.
IFAW does not condone trophy hunting under any circumstances. IFAW's involvement in this important project is through the Malawi Government, which has stated categorically that hunting of elephants will not be allowed in Majete Game Reserve. Recent press in this regard, as well as statements from private organisations managing the park are thus misleading. (A statement from the Department of Parks and Wildlife in Malawi reiterating this is forthcoming.)
The translocation of the elephants is going very well. To date, 44 have been moved and released, and are all adjusting very well to their new surroundings. Please check back often for updates as the move continues, or if you have additional questions please feel free to email us any time at info@ifaw.org
Thank you again for your concern for the elephants, and for taking the time to write to us.

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

Hello Michael,
How are the 18 elephants who have already been translocated, doing?
Thanks

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

Why are these elephants being sent to a place that may allow trophy hunting and the killing of the big bulls?

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

Hi Nancy, thanks for your comment and your support of this great project!
During capture, we carefullly monitor the elephant herd's movement and start darting when we are certain that we have a complete family unit.
Once sedated, the elephants are identified and marked with a letter (A, B, C...) and a number (1, 2, 3...). This then tells us who belongs where and also guarantees that calves stay close to their mothers (i.e. A1 with A1.1). We then place them together in the transport crates so they travel and are released together.

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

Just a correction, my name is Lion-Storm, not Lion-Stpr,

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

I'm glad to have been able to contribute in a small way to funding this noble effort. What steps are being taken to keep family groups, especially calves with mothers, together?

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