De Beers Relocates 200 Elephants From SA To Mozambique

In a bid to transport 200 elephants across 1,500km from its Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve (VLNR) in South Africa to Mozambique, diamond miner, De Beers Group has partnered with Peace Parks Foundation.

Peace Parks Foundation is a non-profit organisation focused on the preservation of large functional cross-border ecosystems.

The operation, one of the largest elephant translocations ever recorded in South Africa’s history, is part of a major conservation initiative to protect the welfare of wildlife in

South Africa and help restore Mozambique’s elephant population, the company said.

In the first phase of the project, 60 elephants will be transported during July and August from the VLNR to Zinave National Park in central Mozambique. The remaining elephants will be moved to conservation areas ahead of relocation from next year.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, said: “This translocation is born of a deep sense of responsibility and is part of our wider commitment to continue to invest in new and innovative ways to protect the natural world.”

According to De Beers, the 32 000ha VLNR is able to accommodate around 60 elephants without adverse impacts on the surrounding ecosystem. However, currently, there are more than 270 elephants on the reserve and this risks extensive damage to the ecosystem which has to sustain a diverse wildlife population.

By contrast, wildlife populations in Zinave National Park, which was founded in the 1960s, have been critically depleted following Mozambique’s 15-year civil war. The park offers significant carrying capacity for large numbers of elephants across its 408,000 hectares, and is currently home to only around 60 of them.

As part of the initiative, De Beers is also providing $500,000 over a five-year period to Peace Parks Foundation for anti-poaching support measures, which will include the hiring and training of new park rangers, and the opening of new access roads to increase patrol coverage, the company said.

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