The De Beers Group has begun to transport 200 elephants across 1,500km from its Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve (VLNR) in South Africa to Mozambique.
The operation, one of the largest elephant translocations ever recorded in South Africa, is part of a major conservation initiative to protect the welfare of wildlife in South Africa and help restore Mozambique’s elephant population.
For the first phase of the project, approximately 60 elephants will be transported in July and August from the VLNR to Zinave National Park in central Mozambique. The remaining elephants will be moved to conservation areas that hold sufficient elephant carrying capacity within Mozambique from next year.
De Beers is partnering with Peace Parks Foundation, a leading not-for-profit organization focused on the preservation of large functional cross-border ecosystems, to carry out the initiative. Through formal agreements with Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas, Peace Parks Foundation co-manages Zinave National Park, which is an integral component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area.
Peace Parks Foundation will assist De Beers Group with the translocation, ensuring the elephants’ social groups aren’t disturbed and that they flourish in their new habitat through ongoing monitoring of their wellbeing and enhanced protection efforts.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “There is no greater symbol of Africa than the majestic elephant. For us to be able to help secure their future in Mozambique, while also ensuring other species at our Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve can flourish, is something every employee of De Beers Group is proud of. 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.”