Malawi completes monumental translocation of 263 elephants

Posted by David Henning on 4 August 2022

Malawi authorities have completed a monumental wildlife translocation, moving 263 elephants and an additional 431 other animals from Liwonde to Kasungu National Park.

Malawi completes monumental translocation, moving 263 elephants

A herd of elephants arrive safely in their new home at Kasungu National Park.

Starting on 27 June, the operation took more than a month, with the final elephant relocated on 31 July. During this time, impala, buffalo, warthog, sable and the 263 elephants were transported 350km via road.

‘We are overjoyed that the exercise has been completed successfully,’ said Brighton Kumchedwa, Malawi’s Director of National Parks and Wildlife. ‘The addition of elephants and other wildlife species to Kasungu National Park will benefit Malawi tourism as well as communities through job creation, thereby fuelling a conservation-driven economy.’

Liwonde has played host to some of the largest elephant translocations in history in 2016 and 2017, which saw the relocation of 520 elephants – 366 moved from Liwonde – to alleviate pressure on the habitat and repopulate Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.

Now Liwonde has played another integral role in repopulating Kasungu, which was once home to 1 200 elephants in the 1970s. Poaching reduced its population to 49 by 2015. Collaboration between African Parks, Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have ensured that elephants can once again thrive in Kasungu.

Picture: International Fund for Animal Welfare

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