Nearly 250 elephants will be relocated by the end of July to Kasungu National Park in central Malawi. The species, which still numbered 1,200 specimens 50 years ago, nearly disappeared from the region.

“Poaching has gone down and the number of elephants has gone up. There are now 120 elephants, but the population is still too low to be viable. The introduction of 250 additional elephants will change this scenario,” said Patricio Ndadzela, who heads the Malawi branch of the South African conservation organization African Parks, in a statement.

The pachyderms will be transferred from Liwonde National Park, more than 350 km south of Kasungu, between June 27 and July 29. Buffaloes, impalas or even warthogs will also be transported from this reserve where poaching has almost disappeared and where certain species are now overpopulated.

Tensions between humans and animals

In 2016 and 2017, 520 elephants were relocated from Liwonde Park to ease pressure on their habitat and reduce tensions with nearby residents. “The number of [animals] is increasing, putting pressure on the park’s natural resources and creating conflict situations with local communities,” says African Parks.

Malawi is home to around 2,000 elephants. Southern Africa is home to 70% of the continent’s population. Some countries in the region such as Zimbabwe, where the elephant population is on the rise and where fatal accidents with humans have increased, are calling for a lifting of the global ban on the ivory trade.

In other African countries, however, the situation remains critical after decades of poaching. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana) is “endangered”, its smaller cousin, the forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), is “endangered”. extinction criticism”.

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