Gentle Giant Research
This week marks a particularly exciting event at Thanda Safari.
In partnering with the Wild Tomorrow Fund, we were able to immobilise three carefully selected Elephants in order to attach tracking collars. Two dominant Elephant cows and a single large bull will now be collecting valuable data which will enable us to see exactly how the breeding herds and a bachelor group utilise their time and space on the reserve. This will offer insights into habitat use as well as movement patterns over rainfall events and seasonal changes. At the same time, multiple micro weather stations have been installed throughout the reserve and the Elephant movements over the landscapes will be mapped considering the daily changes in climatic conditions.
While we had the opportunity, blood samples were taken as part of a study with the University of Pretoria which will investigate the long-term effects of the PZP immuno-contraception programme which has been implemented at Thanda since 2012. This is a particularly important study and we are pleased to support it.
Text: Warren Beets, Thanda Safari Reserve Manager
Pictures: Christian Sperka, Thanda Safari Resident Wildlife Photographer