Elephants Alive to stream collaring in Greater Kruger area

Posted on 28 July 2020

Elephants Alive will be documenting and streaming a live-action elephant collaring on Saturday, August 8 in the Greater Kruger area. The NGO will take viewers at home on an adventure unlike any other.

The live stream will include tracking the elephant in the Greater Kruger area, its immobilization, fitting the new collar and watching as the giant comes round and walks off into the bush. All the while, elephant experts and vets will explain what’s happening and answer your questions.

This pioneering virtual experience will take place on Saturday 8th August, just ahead of World Elephant Day.

The organisation has been studying the elephants in the area for nearly 25 years, their work spanning three countries, where the tracked elephants go. Kruger National Park and the private reserves bordering the Park in South Africa, Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and Parque Nacional de Limpopo in Mozambique are the core areas of movement.

Elephants Alive has collared nearly 200 animals and can individually identify more than 2 000 elephants from their tusk and ear patterns by recording features like ear tears, notches and holes as well as tusk shape. Image credit: Aida Ettayeb/ Into My Wild Africa

This work has provided a unique insight into the social bonds, breeding behaviour and movements over time of these amazing animals.

Elephant collars provide critical scientific information, helping the organisation understand their movements in response to safety, sex, food and water.  The data also maps ‘fear-landscapes’ – areas elephants are avoiding.  This remote tracking detects if a collar stops moving, if it is too close to villages or if it’s moving at unusual speeds – all of which could indicate a potential poaching event.  The collars provide real-time data so rangers or a response team can investigate.

The collars are mapping incredible journeys. An elephant named the Bahnine Bull, first collared in southern Mozambique, has proved to be a remarkable trailblazer. Data has shown him moving between Banhine, Zinave and Limpopo National Parks in Mozambique as well as venturing into Kruger National Park in South Africa (more than 6000 kilometres in a single year).

These movements show how important safe corridors are between the reserves and how protected areas need to incorporate a much wider landscape to do justice to the potential home range of an elephant

Collaring elephants is expensive (around R90 000 a collar) and the virtual collaring is being trialled as a fund-raising event. It’s being run in partnership with Blue Sky Society whose mission is to protect, preserve and improve life for wildlife and communities in need. The live broadcast technology is provided by Painted Dog TV.

To find out more and book a front row seat for this unprecedented virtual experience, here’s the link.

Your ticket of R950 goes to funding Elephants Alive’s ongoing work, protecting these elephants and their habitats and promoting harmony with humans.

For further information, contact Harriet Nimmo at [email protected] or www.elephantsalive.org. Tel 079 437 6079.

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