Watch: How do you relocate 500 elephants in Malawi?

There are barely any elephants left in Malawi’s Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. In the past, 15,000 elephants that lived there. This is why 500 elephants are currently being sedated and then relocated to the reserve.

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This is what the complex rescue mission of hundreds of Africa’s most recognizable animal looks like. 500 elephants in Malawi are currently being sedated by volunteers and moved one by one in trucks to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.

According to recent data, the number of elephants in Africa has shrunk in a short period of time. In 1979, there were 1.3 million elephants but today, there are only 350,000. “Elephant populations in Africa are under pressure from poaching and habitat loss,” said Andrew Parker, who is in charge of the rescue mission.

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“They are now increasingly being confined into these smaller and smaller protected areas,” Parker continued. “The idealist view of Africa as this vast open landscape where animals can move freely from point A to point B, that doesn't exist anymore.” Parker and his team of volunteers sedate the giant animals by shooting arrows at them from inside a helicopter or on the ground. They then load the animals onto trucks and bring them to the reserve in the northern part of the country.

The process of relocating the elephants is a new and dangerous procedure and some of them don’t survive it. However, Parker and his team are bringing the elephants to the reserve so that there will be hope for the future. The reserve is located in an area where 15,000 elephants once lived. Due to the hunters and the ivory trade, only 70 elephants are currently living in the reserve. Thanks to the rescue mission, hundreds of other elephants will join them.



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