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  WILDERNESS CONSERVANCY › PROJECTS › Relocation of Wildlife - from Elephants to Cheetahs  

In early 1996 the National Parks Board of South Africa was considering a cull (killing) of about 600 elephants in Kruger National Park (KNP).
This situation was brought about by the growth of the elephant population and the insufficiency of the habitat to support it. KNP can only accommodate about 6,000 elephants.


Beyond that there simply is not enough food. WILDCON undertook to buy at least one family of elephants and relocate them to a safe haven hundreds of miles south - well out of harm’s way. Shamwari Game Reserve (a private game reserve near Port Elizabeth and open to the public) agreed to accept the elephants and to care for them. Thus, WILDCON, with the help of generous donors, raised the funds to buy an entire family of elephants, including two suckling babies. The move was accomplished in July, 1996.

Flying the Fleet Footed to Safety - Cheetahs on Board
A Wilderness Conservancy aircraft based in South Africa  undertook an interesting exercise involving the relocation of a pair of troublesome cheetah. The wild roamers had developed a taste for mutton and had to be airlifted to a place of safety where wild game abounded. The exercise involved darting the cheetah on the southern edge of the Kalahari Desert and flying them to a safe new home in a game reserve bordering the north of Kruger National Park.

They were kept tranquilized during the journey and only woke on short-finals into a bush strip lit by two jeeps. Once re-sedated they were moved into a safe holding pen for the rest of the night before release some days later. Thanks to Wilderness Conservancy, a new cheetah family has been established in a region where the species had died out long ago.

Loading the cheetah in the Kalahari. They fit comfortably in the 206, heads facing the vets.

A re-fuelling stop. The levels of sedation and body temperatures have to be carefully monitored


Stabilizing one of the cats after landing





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