Today saw the relocation of a Damage Causing Animal (DCA), an Elephant bull that had damaged water pipes, a vehicle, and thatching at Ingwelala. After taking about 12 minutes (each elephant is different) to go down after being darted, teams worked quickly to take samples and load him. The elephant bull was then safely released in the southern part of Timbavati with the whole exercise taking approximately 3 hours.
A great team effort by Umbabat, Timbavati, Elephants Alive and Wildlife Vets. Flying by Wild skies Aviation: Jana Meyer, who had previously been called out twice to try to chase the elephant from Ingwelala, hence its relocation.
Thank you to all the members who came to watch the loading of the elephant and for bringing their children to have, for many, a once in a lifetime experience.
Darting the Elephant
In order to ensure the safety of the Elephant, the vet will dart him from the helicopter and ensure he goes down in a suitable area.
Assessing and taking samples
Once the Elephant is down the vets and researchers move in quickly to take the necessary samples and measurements of the Elephant in order to monitor it post-relocation.
Loading the Elephant on the Truck
A complicated task of assessing the weight of the Elephant in order to get a strong enough hydraulic lift, whilst hoisting him up without injuring him.
Offloading and releasing
After leaving Ingwelala the truck drove 40km into the adjacent Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. There the vet gave the Elephant drugs to reverse the tranquiliser drugs and we watched as the Elephant walked off into the bush.