The De Beers Group has undertaken the second translocation of elephants from its Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve (VLNR) in South Africa to Zinave National Park in Mozambique.
The first herds of elephants were corralled at the VLNR on June 25, before making their journey by road some 1,700km where they were released at Zinave on June 27. The final herds arrived July 12 at Zinave, bringing the total number of elephants moved in 2019 to 53.
The translocation is part of a major conservation effort – known as “Moving Giants” – that aims to move some 200 elephants over three years in a bid to help secure the future of the VLNR, which at the beginning of last year was under threat due to too many elephants impacting the broader ecosystem, and to help repopulate Mozambique’s elephant population.
During the first phase of the project, 48 elephants were translocated in July and August 2018. These elephants, moved in family groups, consisted of matriarchs, younger males and females, and calves. Those elephants have been seen integrating with other herds at Zinave and have been thriving with more space and food now available to them. The remaining elephants at the VLNR are expected to be moved to national parks in Mozambique with sufficient elephant carrying capacity from next year.
De Beers Group is partnering with Peace Parks Foundation (Peace Parks), a leading not-for-profit transfrontier conservation organisation whose aim is to re-establish, renew and preserve large functional ecosystems, and Conservation Solutions – world-leading experts in wildlife management whose team manage the challenging logistics and veterinary care of the elephants throughout the process. Peace Parks co-manage Zinave National Park with the Mozambique government and have ongoing responsibility for the wellbeing of the elephants, ensuring they continue to thrive in their new environment.