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Elephants migrate between Kruger and Limpopo National Parks

8 December 2004

During a recent joint venture between Mozambique, South Africa's Department of Agriculture, SANParks and Peace Parks Foundation to monitor buffalo in Limpopo National Park (LNP) in Mozambique, two dysfunctional collars were removed from elephant that had previously been translocated. The first collar was removed from a herd that had been introduced into the sanctuary in 2002. According to this team, headed by Dr Markus Hofmeyr: Head: Veterinary Wildlife Services of SANParks, the introduction of elephant into the sanctuary had been very successful - a number of calves were observed and all the animals were in good health.

The second satellite collar that was removed was from an elephant introduced at Kostini in 2001. She had returned to Kruger National Park after approximately 12 months but in August 2003 returned to Mozambique and has been there ever since. Her group was associated with at least 60 other elephant that had not been translocated. Furthermore, a functional satellite collar was found on an animal amongst this larger group. The significance of this is that some of the elephants introduced into the larger park in 2001 remembered their stay and have chosen to go back to Limpopo National Park and associate with elephant that occur there naturally. This large group of elephant were very close to the sanctuary fence, possibly communicating with those that have been introduced into the sanctuary.

One of the objectives of introducing elephant into LNP was to enhance the movement of elephant into Mozambique and also stimulate their dynamic movement across the border. As they are now migrating both ways, this objective has clearly been met.

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