Bushlife Safaris’ Successful Elephant Collaring Mission
In 2015, Bushlife Safaris recognised the crucial significance of tracking the key majestic elephant bulls of Mana Pools. To achieve this goal, we approached Zimbabwe National Parks with a groundbreaking research collaring program. Embracing the initiative wholeheartedly, Zimbabwe National Parks became partners from day one. Through the joint efforts of Bushlife Conservancy, a US-based non-profit organisation dedicated to conservation, the first elephant collaring mission was successfully conducted in 2017. These collars are designed to last approximately 2-3 years before needing replacement due to wear and tear. Since the last collaring of Boswell was in 2020, the time has come for a new collar this year.
Why is it important to collar iconic elephants?
Elephant collaring is used both for research and for safeguarding the elephants. The collars serve as a deterrent as well as allowing us to track their movements, identifying potential human-wildlife conflict zones while studying territory size and population growth. This June, thanks to the support from our conservation partner, Bushlife Conservancy , we successfully replaced Boswell’s collar. Our dedicated team, comprising of Bushlife Safaris and Zimbabwe National Parks veterinarians, and Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Chaitezvi overseeing the whole operation, worked together seamlessly. After securing the collar, Boswell was gently brought out of his slumber with another carefully administered drug. It was incredible to witness how easily he got up and walked away without a second thought about the collar – he’s become quite accustomed to it! The entire process, from darting to fitting the collar, took only 25 minutes – a testament to our team’s efficiency!
Ensuring Boswell had his new collar on before the rainy season was crucial. During the rains, he spends more time in the nearby hunting area and so the collar indicates that he is a research animal. Bushlife Safaris’ elephant collaring program stands as a shining example of how cooperation between organisations and a dedication to conservation can yield remarkable results for preserving the majesty and safety of these incredible creatures.