Malawi has too many elephants in certain areas but unlike Zimbabwe and Swaziland who have exported such elephants overseas, Malawi will recreate a sanctuary for them via the management services of African Parks. The African Parks Foundation of America works with and supports African Parks as an affiliate organization.

The revamped sanctuary is as big as a large city

Take Part #News reported that African Parks officials said that the sanctuary is inside an existing reserve. The reserve has experienced years of “indiscriminate poaching” and a serious lack of “law enforcement.” The boundary fence which will enclose a 45,000-acre area is currently being constructed. Once the borders are secure, the movement of the elephants will begin. African Parks assumed managing this old reserve in August last year. They are hoping that proper management and funding will see the newly managed reserve grow into a “viable wildlife sanctuary.”

Approximately five hundred elephants will be taken from the Majete and Liwonde reserves in Malawi, where elephant numbers are too big to be supported. The aim of the exercise is to prevent environmental damage from too many animals in some areas and to repopulate an areas where only a few elephant remain. These days, the concept of culling to control populations cannot be considered.  

African Parks are a professional wildlife organization

African Parks is a reserve management organization that operates across Africa to preserve wildlife parks. The dedicated and expert staff at African Parks work alongside local authorities when they are invited by governments in Africa to become involved in financing and management of National Parks. They're fast becoming recognized as a force for conservation as old reserves are rehabilitated and start to become less dependent on donor support. Given their excellent record in dealing with wildlife park restoration, it can be assumed that they will attempt to relocate family groups.

Care needs to be taken to consider trauma and stress

According to the organization Elephants Forever, the relocation of the animals has been a “long-term” technique to preserve animal populations. It's recognized that the operation is very costly and the trauma elephants may experience is a big concern. Grief and stress management is essential and requires the participation of experts. Further worries include the fact that elephants are big animals and can pose some danger to those people involved in the operation.

No zoo or foreign climate for these elephants

These elephants will be moved a few hundred miles, which is a far better option than exporting them from Africa to foreign countries, where the correct climate and available foodstuffs may not be ideal. These elephants will not live out their days in captivity, but will be able to thrive and expand their population on their home continent. #Buzz