As it was announced just on Tuesday by Kensington Palace, we are also delighted that Prince Harry is also going to help us with the translocation
@Paolo outed! You can drop the "I am an I-Italian. I like-a good coffee" act now.
Seriously,how was it? Anything personal to add to what African Parks are saying?
And thank you for the updates @jeremie Really interesting and your pasting of relevant content into the thread helps me keep up-to-date with minimal effort. I would have forgotten about this without you and that would eb a shame as these Africa Parks people seem a bit Superman-ish.
Prince Harry was indeed with us for a couple of captures, and unfortunately I have to confirm we are not lookalikes!
Seriously, it has been an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience - the crowning of a fantastic trip, and both @Anita and I are still coming to terms with it, the unforgettable feelings, and all the information that (hopefully) we absorbed.
You are right of speaking of the AP Team as Superman-ish. Their professionalism and skills are beyond amazing. Just spending time with some of the key people and hearing about their experiences was a great privilege. Our helicopter pilot, Frank (a senior gentleman tough as nails) has been involved in wildlife work since the 1970s and has been on extensive duty in "hot" places like Chinko in CAR and Garamba in DRC. The vets, Andre (in charge of darting the elephants from the air) and Kester (taking the lead with the ground operations and the awakening of the tranquillized elephants) have done, amongst other things, most of the translocations restocking Tswalu as well as moving elephants and other species Gorongosa in Mozambique and Majete in Malawi. All nicest people to boot.
Apparently the elephants moved to Nkhotakota are quite happy - lots of water and plenty of food up there; kind of being invited to a yummy banquet. They have showed no intention to move, and they could not anyway, being Liwonde and Majete separated by 350 km of human populated areas (and being fenced for the most part).
In any event, this is nothing new. Next year 200 elephants will be moved from Majete, and there were basically no elephants in Majete when African Parks took over in 2003- all the elephants were moved there, and now are thriving to the point they have become a source population for other parks. Ditto for elephants moved from Gonarezhou to Save Valley or out of Malilangwe in Zimbabwe.
Actually, the capture/translocation techniques have become so advanced and are constantly improving to the point that in the future there might be other elephant translocations on even larger scale, potentially of thousands of animals. In the course of the discussions with the team, the concept of "human assisted migrations" in certain areas was mentioned several times.
Once elephants were able to move long distances almost everywhere in Africa, giving respite to over-utilized land and finding new pastures. Now that is no longer possible in many places and, once again, it is a case of us humans trying to somehow partially fix what we have destroyed.
Edited by Paolo, 05 August 2016 - 10:21 AM.