A NEW JOURNEY
African elephants are at their most awe-inspiring in the wild, where these gentle giants can roam freely, interact with each other and engage with their young.
In an ideal world, there is no question that the African Elephant belongs in the wild. However, the world that we live in is less than ideal – necessitating expanded thinking. Humans have caused enormous problems for elephants, and so must be actively involved in sustainable solutions.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF VERY COMPLEX ISSUES AT PLAY, INCLUDING:
- Africa’s rapid decline in suitable land for elephants to live on;
- competition between elephants and human populations for land and food; and
- over-grazing, nutritional stress, hunger and increasing conflict between man and elephants.
These are the very real issues that altered the lives of the elephants at Elephant Whispers.
In need of urgent relocation, after the unsuccessful search for reserves where the five elephants could be moved, Elephant Whispers made the commitment to find a safe haven for Tembo, Shamwari, Ziziphus, Lindiwe and Andile to live for the rest of their natural lives.
THE NEW HOME FOR THE ELEPHANTS WOULD REQUIRE:
- Hundreds of hectares for the elephants to roam freely, with free-feeding potential from natural vegetation.
- A reliable year-long food and water supply.
- Compliance with the stringent regulations of the department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism and Mpumalanga parks.
- Close proximity to expert veterinary care.
- Uniquely skilled and dedicated staff members.
- Sufficient visitor feet to generate the income to secure a stable future for the elephants.
Elephant Whispers believe that a broader conservation message can be entrenched and shared if people are inspired by the trusting partnerships that are possible between humans and African Elephant. These twin quests led them to Hazyview, Mpumalanga.
After exploring the vast community-owned land of Sandford, the Elephant Whispers team knew they had found the right property. They leased the community property for 51 years and committed turnover-based monthly earnings to over 210 disadvantaged families. on 5 December 2007, the elephants were introduced to their new home, where they were welcomed by a permanent complement of 48 passionate caregivers and support staff.
Watching the elephants settle into their new home; enjoying a mud bath, swimming in their dam and spending time roaming the property together, the team sincerely believed that when the elephant’s natural environment is not possible, feasible, or safe that they had made the right choice.
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