- The rescue operation of endangered Elephants has resumed today with a further nine elephants evacuated to safety in Malawi this morning after the courts threw out a challenge to have their relocation stopped.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said it was delighted the High Court of Malawi last night rejected a challenge to the rescue project and ruled the capture and translocation of the elephants should continue. The animals which have been at the centre of fierce human-elephant conflict are being moved from Phirilongwe District, just south of Lake Malawi to Majete Widlife Reserve.
“There was great excitement among the local community here yesterday evening,” said Neil Greenwood, Campaigns Officer for IFAW, who is assisting with the move. “At least 300 villagers sang and danced outside our capture headquarters to celebrate the court support for the IFAW project,” he reported.
IFAW’s capture team went straight to work this morning and safely captured a family group of nine elephants - five males and four females, including a very young calf.
“After an enforced break of 10-days there is no time to lose, so the capture team got to work at first light today and the nine elephants are on their way to Majete,” said Greenwood.
Today’s capture brings the tally of elephants relocated to 18 – the mission intends to rescue the entire herd of more than 60 elephants in the next few weeks and move them to put an end to years of fierce human-elephant conflict in the district.
Dozens of people have been killed by the elephants and the elephants in turn are killed and cruelly persecuted by local subsistence farmers, intent on protecting their crops and livelihoods from the animals.
An extensive community consultation process prior to the exercise revealed that the majority of community members supported the relocation effort.
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