911 Elephant


911 Elephant, a specific program within the ERP portfolio, is rapidly becoming a leader in the field of elephant rescue operations in Southern Africa. We are able to lead and fund elephant rescue initiatives that may result in relocation, or simply by way of working with landowners to establish a sustainable, non-lethal alternative to controlling elephant numbers in overpopulated areas, and so as to avoid splitting up elephant family units.

Core activities of 911 Elephant:

  • Rescue and treatment of elephants that have been injured through poaching, snares or natural causes

  • Emergency response to elephants that have broken out of reserves and are at threat of being shot or hit by vehicles on public roads

  • Relocation of elephants that could be culled due to elephant behaviour

  • Collaring of elephant populations for us to be able to monitor their movements and protect them more effectively

  • Specialist advice

ERP intends on providing these services to countries Across Africa.

Some of the interventions that we have implemented to date:

  • Relocation of 2 elephant bulls to Mozambique from Gauteng in South Africa. These two bulls would have been destroyed if ERP did not intervene

  • Relocation of a family unit of six elephants to Samara Private Game Reserve. This marked the reintroduction of elephants to an area that has not had elephants for at least 120 years

  • Provided 8000 hours of monitoring time and vehicles to the Dinokeng Game Reserve to protect their elephants more effectively

  • Rescue of 80 elephants in the Limpopo Province which were at risk of being culled

  • Relocation of 12 elephants from Nambiti Private Game Reserve to Somkhanda Private Game Reserve

  • Saved the lives of over 1500 elephants in Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe) by providing boreholes for them to access water in severe drought conditions

What it takes to relocate elephants successfully:

  • ERP carefully selects appropriate breeding herds which are at risk of being culled due to overpopulation in smaller, fenced conservation areas. Additionally, we respond to emergency situations where elephants have breached the boundaries of a reserve or they have been injured.

  • The operations normally require significant logistics and planning. In fact, 80% of a successful elephant relocation lies in the planning and permit approval phase.

  • There are a number of costly elements in capture/rescue operations. These include helicopter costs, veterinary costs, transport costs, etc..

On average, the following costs are incurred with capture operations:

  • Helicopter costs: R 6500.00/hour ($ 541.00)

  • Cost to immobilise and load an individual elephant: R 25 000.00 ($ 2 090.00)

  • Cost per km for transport: R 55.00/km ($ 4.5/km)

  • Average distance of trip is 1 400 km @ R 55.00/km: R 77 000.00 ($ 6416.00)

  • Support vehicle costs per trip: R 20 000.00 ($ 1666.00)

ERP has successfully rescued/relocated over 140 elephants to date through direct interventions.

Christelle Pretorius