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(Lilongwe, Malawi—8 July 2022) Well over 1,000 people have turned out for a celebration to mark the reintroduction of elephants into Kasungu National Park from Liwonde National Park, Malawi.
Since capture and relocation began just over a week ago, 41 elephants in family herds have been caught and safely released into Kasungu. Last night, five bull elephants were en route to Kasungu. Over the coming month 250 elephants will be captured in Liwonde to be released in Kasungu—this will include 225 elephants in family herds, and 25 bull elephants.
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) welcomed the elephants at a lively, colourful celebration held at Kasungu. The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Mr. Chauncy Simwaka and other senior government leaders led the celebrations together with traditional leaders, executive staff representing IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), African Parks (AP), and communities living close to Kasungu.
“This is an extremely hopeful story for conservation, elephants and the people of Malawi. The addition of elephants to Kasungu NP will benefit tourism in Malawi and overall park development, including grading roads, fencing and long-term fence attendants, thereby contributing to local employment and fuelling a conservation-driven economy,” said the Director of National Parks and Wildlife, Brighton Kumchedwa.
Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife, African Parks and IFAW started the capture and translocation of 250 elephants last week. The jumbo-sized mission will continue until the end of July 2022. Additional wildlife, including buffalo, impala, sable, warthog and waterbuck will also be translocated from Liwonde to Kasungu during this time.
Sam Kamoto, African Parks’ Country Representative said, “We’re grateful to our partners IFAW for making this translocation possible, the Government of Malawi for their forward-thinking conservation leadership, the local communities for their support and participation in the conservation of wildlife, and the Elephant Cooperation for their generous support. The success stories in parks like Liwonde and Kasungu reflect the importance of conserving nature for prosperity and development.”
Kasungu NP was identified as a well-protected landscape, able to provide a secure new home for the elephants and other wildlife. As the second largest national park in Malawi covering 2,100 square kilometres, IFAW—in partnership with DNPW—has been working in Kasungu since 2015 addressing law enforcement, wildlife crime, infrastructure and capacity within the park.
Poaching in Kasungu NP has virtually disappeared in the park due to the partnership between DNPW and IFAW through its Combating Wildlife Crime (CWC) Programme, supported for the past five years by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the generosity of the American people.
“The translocation of the elephants and other wildlife is a significant achievement and proves the DNPW’s approach to working with partners to secure its natural resources is a sound one,” said Patricio Ndadzela, IFAW Chief of Party in Malawi.
“IFAW also thanks USAID who have provided immense support to the project, including enabling us to build a 40-kilometre elephant-proof fence that will secure Kasungu’s eastern boundary and prevent conflict between communities and the elephants.
“Restoring Kasungu will boost its appeal as a tourist destination and in turn improve the local and regional economy,” said Ndadzela.
About Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW): The Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) is one of the departments under the Ministry Tourism, Culture and Wildlife and is responsible for the management and conservation of wildlife resources in Malawi. Our mission is to conserve and manage protected areas and wildlife for present and future Malawians through enforcement of wildlife legislation, adaptive management, effective monitoring and governance.
About African Parks: African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. African Parks manages 20 national parks and protected areas in 11 countries covering over 17 million hectares in Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. For more information visit www.africanparks.org, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare): IFAW is a global non-profit helping animals and people thrive together. We are experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans and in more than 40 countries around the world. We rescue, rehabilitate and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats. The problems we’re up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organisations and businesses. Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. See how at ifaw.org.
Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW)
Catherine Chunga: +265 995 436 419; firstname.lastname@example.org
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Christina Pretorius: +27 (0)82 330 2558; email@example.com
Yolanda Mtshali: +27727344869; firstname.lastname@example.org
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