Walk with Elephants, for Elephants
"The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?” – David Attenborough.
World Elephant Day is the perfect time to find out more about these amazing animals and what we can do to preserve and protect them. The Rory Hensman Elephant Research and Conservation Unit (RHCRU) hosts an annual Walk with Elephants, for Elephants at Adventures with Elephants. Our goal is to raise funds for an elephant DNA database as well as raise awareness about the significant contribution these elephants are making towards various research projects.
While invited guests will be joining us at the event, you can make a contribution, and for only R 1000, sponsor a DNA test for one elephant. Of course you can join the walk online via Facebook.
WHY IS A DNA DATABASE IMPORTANT?
Approximately 150 000 African elephants have been lost in the last decade. Numbers continue to decline in the face of poaching, human-elephant conflict and inbreeding. We are creating a DNA database of the South African elephant population to safeguard the future of the species. Firstly, A DNA database is important for monitoring inbreeding and the predisposition of disease. Secondly, being able to link ivory to specific elephants in specific areas assists authorities in identifying poaching hotspots.
WHO ARE THE PROJECT TEAM?
The Rory Hensman Conservation and Research Unit (RHCRU) is partnering with the National Zoological Gardens Pretoria and the Forensic Sciences Institute of North Carolina State University.
HOW IS THE DNA OBTAINED?
A dart gun will be used to obtain skin samples, so the animals do not need to be anesthetized. The dart is specially made to collect a small piece of skin before falling to the ground.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE EVENT?
The day kicks off with Tea & coffee on arrival and a special welcome by RHCRU ambassador, Ntokozo Mbuli. The group then received a safety briefing, and short history on AWE & RHCRU before meeting the majestic residents at Adventures with Elephants.
The walk begins and covers a short distance through the reserve. Researchers will present information and demonstrations regarding the work they are doing with the elephants, along the route.
This fantastic day out ends off with a light lunch, interviews, questions while watching the elephants swimming / drinking in the dam back at the meet and greet area.
https://youtu.be/XRZQNUsETzk Walk with Elephants 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMN7QVs6l4I Walk with Elephants 2018