Zimbabwe has started moving more than 2,500 wild animals from one southern reserve to another in the north of the country to save them from drought, as the ravages of climate change replace poaching as the biggest threat to wildlife .
Some 400 elephants, 2,000 impalas, 70 giraffes, 50 buffaloes, 50 wildebeests, 50 zebras, 50 elk, 10 lions and a pack of 10 wild dogs are among the animals transferred from the Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe to three northern reserves, Sapi, Matusadonha and Chizarira, in one of the largest live capture and relocation exercises in southern Africa.
Rewild Zambezi Project
Operation “Project Rewild Zambezi” is simply moving animals to an area of the Zambezi River Valley to replenish wild animal populations there, in an attempt to address the problems caused by climate change.
It is the first time in 60 years that Zimbabwe has embarked on a massive movement of domestic wild animals. Between 1958 and 1964, when the country was white minority-ruled Rhodesia, more than 5,000 animals were transported in the so-called “Operation Noah”.
This operation saved the wildlife from the rising waters caused by the construction of a huge hydroelectric dam on the Zambezi River which created one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, Lake Kariba.
Impact of climate change
This time it was lack of water that made it necessary to relocate wildlife as their habitat was dried out by the prolonged drought, said Tinashe Farawo, spokesperson for the National Parks Management Authority and wildlife of Zimbabwe.
The parks agency issued permits to allow the animals to be moved to prevent a “catastrophe from happening” due to climate change, Farawo said, adding:
“We do this to relieve the pressure.” “
For years we fought poaching, and when we won that war, climate change emerged as the biggest threat to our wildlife.
“Many of our parks are becoming overcrowded and there is little water or food.”
“The animals eventually destroy their own habitat, becoming a danger to themselves and invading nearby human settlements in search of food, leading to endless conflict.
One of the new refuges for displaced animals in Zimbabwe is the Sapi Game Reserve. The 280,000-acre private concession sits just east of Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning location along the Zambezi River, which forms the border between Zimbabwe and China. Zambia.
The Sappi”is the perfect solution for many reasonsGreat Plains CEO Derek Joubert said on the foundation’s website and added:
“This reserve forms the Middle Zambezi Biosphere, totaling 1.6 million acres.”
“From the 1950s until our conquest in 2017, decades of hunting decimated wildlife populations in the Sapi Reserve.”
“We restore wildlife and restore nature to what it was before.”
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Picture: © 2022 Thoko Chikondi