ERP Bulletin #2
ERP is fast becoming an industry leader in providing alternative non-lethal elephant management interventions to reserves throughout southern Africa. By responding to specific emergencies affecting individual elephants or small groups of elephants, ERP is proving that elephant populations can be managed without the need for lethal culling practices. Elephant populations are diminishing at an alarming rate and it is essential for the preservation of both large and small populations on a global scale. Although we are focussed on African populations at this stage, the diminishing populations of Asian elephants is also a cause for great concern. We are currently exploring options for ERP to become more involved in the preservation of the Asian elephant population as well.
Our non-lethal offering includes a variety of different aspects to ensure that ERP can provide a holistic, turn-key solution to reserves which are considering elephant culling as a solution to managing their elephant populations. We believe that there is no such thing as a problem elephant or population but rather problematic, ill-informed elephant management practices, executed by elephant owners. This causes elephants to respond in a manner which is perceived as unacceptable behaviour, often resulting in the untimely, unjustified deaths of these sentient beings. A prime example of this offering is showcased at the Dinokeng Game Reserve where ERP has collared three bulls which we have been able to manage and monitor for the last four months. Without this intervention, the lives of these elephants were at risk due to potential culling.
Although the 911 Elephant Programme has been developed as a unique, tactical response to elephant emergencies in South Africa, this programme does however form an integral part of our long term elephant preservation strategy within which there are two key aims. The first being the establishment of sanctuaries for elephants who have been in captivity their entire lives (i.e. in circuses or zoos) or who have been the subjects of lucrative elephant back safari/elephant interaction operations, which scar them emotionally for as long as they live. The objective of these sanctuaries is to return these animals to wilderness conditions, for them to have improved well-being, giving them a second chance at life.
The second aim of the greater ERP elephant preservation strategy, is the establishment of extensive conservation systems which will have the capacity to host mega-populations of over 1000 elephants. A key issue facing elephant populations in Africa and Asia, is the limited access to land for population growth. ERP is currently in negotiations with the Mozambican government to secure large tracts of elephant habitat. The intention is to establish these areas as elephant reserves to which we can relocate large numbers of elephants from South Africa, thereby reducing pressure on growing populations in small private and provincial reserves throughout the country.
Successful 911 Elephant Interventions: