The first herds of elephants made the 1 700 km road journey to Zinave in the last week of June 2019. The final herds arrived at Zinave on 11 July, bringing the total number of elephants moved in 2019 to 53.
During the first phase of the project, 48 elephants were translocated. 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 translocation is part of a major conservation effort – “Moving Giants” – that aims to move some 200 elephants over three years to secure the future of the VLNR, which was under threat due to too many elephants affecting the broader ecosystem, and to help repopulate Mozambique’s elephant population.
VLNR is partnering with Peace Parks Foundation, a transfrontier conservation organisation whose aim is to re-establish, renew and preserve large functional ecosystems, and Conservation Solutions, 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.
Werner Myburgh, CEO, Peace Parks Foundation, said, “The future of the African elephant is bleak in most parts of Africa, except for the southern Africa region where the outlook on their population numbers are stable and even, in some cases, increasing. Zinave National Park in Mozambique is one of these places and brings hope as a new founder population is on the rise.”
Anglo American is backing up its investment in the elephant translocation initiative by providing Peace Parks with a further US$500 000 investment from the Anglo American Foundation to enhance and extend anti-poaching support measures. Peace Parks has been working with local communities to ensure that the introduction of the elephants to the park has a positive impact for their human neighbours.