Elephant bull collared for research

March 2021
Dex the Elephant collared with Elephants Alive

On 14th January 2021, we were contacted by Elephants Alive and the local wildlife Vet who bought our attention to an injured elephant bull – named Dex– who had a severe infection/ injury that looked like it was preventing him from urinating. The research team, who had been monitoring this bull for the last 3 years wanted his wound looked at by a vet and to re-collar him at the same time because his collar had stopped working. Local bee honey was going to be used to treat the injury and the new collar would assist in monitoring the progress of his recovery. They applied for permits to get permission to dart and re-collar the elephant, but unfortunately the permits were extremely slow coming through and only got approved 16th March 2021.

On the 18th March 2021, permissions finally were granted and we managed to dart and re-collar Dex! Luckily over time his injury had improved and only minor treatment was required. A new colalr was also fitted which will allow the Elephants Alive team to continue to monitor this bull for the next 3 - 5 years.

The elephant was located early morning by the research team so we knew his general whereabouts. The Helicopter relocated him and called in the ground support to the general area. When everyone was ready, the vet darted the elephant from the helicopter (hanging out on a sling to get a good shot) and then the elephant was gently ushered using the helicopter into a safe open area. The dart contained tranquilisers (drugs used were Thianial (a powerful opioid) and azaperone). As soon as he was down, the ground teams rushed into the bush toward him. The first thing they checked is that he went down safely (lying on his side, not on his chest, which would have restricted his breathing), and then they place a small stick in the tip of his trunk to keep it open which allows him to keep breathing nicely.

Once the elephant was safe and comfortable, the old collar was cut off and new collar placed on. Numbers on the collar helped the researcher line it up correctly and a counterweight was placed on the collar to ensure the GPS box stays at the top (on the shoulders) of the elephant. His wound was looked at by the vet who said it was healing nicely (and injected a dose of antibiotics just in case). Measurements and data was then collected, including his size (body length, legs, feet, tusks etc), blood was taken for DNA collection, as well as a dung sample and a piece of his tail hair cut. A hair was also cut from the tip of his trunk as there is a researcher who is doing a study on mites and elephants, and if there are mites found within the trunk hair that keep the tunk clean!

Once all the measurements and data had been collected, a reversal drug was injected into a vein in the ear (the drug used was Naltrexone), which helps to wake the elephant up. It took about 5 minutes to work before the elephant started moving and then shortly afterwards stood up. He took a few minutes to gather his thoughts and work out what had just happened, before moving off back into the bush!

POST OPERATION FEEDBACK

The operation was a absolute success and data has already been collected from Dex’s new satellite collar. The data collected aims to help us understand more about elephant home ranges and landscape utilisation, as well as info on social bonds, breeding behaviour and feeding behaviour of this incredible animals.

A very big thank you to our donors who covered the cost of the elephant collar and data package for the lifetime of the collar.

More updates

Buffalo calf saved from building wire

July 2022
Another intervention on Balule - this time to desnare a buffalo calf
Read More

Black Rhino Dehorning on Balule Nature Reserve

July 2022
Six black rhino dehorned in follow-up operation
Read More

Sabi Sands Rhino Dehorning

May 2022
Dehorning of 57 rhino on Mala Mala and Sabie Game Reserve
Read More

Two young elephant bulls saved

March 2022
Two elephant saved in one weekend
Read More

Years-old snare removed from elephant foot

March 2022
Badly embedded snare successfully cut out
Read More

Pangolin caught in electric fence

March 2022
Pangolin successfully relocated to rehabilitation centre
Read More

Live elephant collaring for research

February 2022
Our most eventful live collaring yet!
Read More

NVG anti-poaching heli operation

January 2022
Rapid response prevents poaching incident
Read More

Young male lion relocated to protected area

January 2022
Successful prevention of human-wildlife conflict
Read More

Heli time donated to help free Giraffe from snare

December 2021
Giraffe bull treated for leg snare
Read More

Heli hours donated to de-snare elephant

December 2021
Elephant in mine spotted with snare
Read More

Wild Dog collared in Mozambique

December 2021
Supporting the Wild Dog Range Expansion Project
Read More

Ele calf darted for suspected snare on foot

November 2021
Young elephant spotted with snare wound
Read More

Waterberg Wild Dog Collaring

October 2021
In support of the Wild Dog Range Expansion Program
Read More

Hyena saved, 2 wild dogs perish

October 2021
Terrible snare line catches 3: Hyena saved
Read More

Hyena neck snare removed

October 2021
Nasty neck snare removed to save hyena
Read More

Rhino's dehorned at Care for Wild

September 2021
Assistance to cover veterinary costs to dehorn rhinos
Read More

Leopard saved from snare

September 2021
Leopardess rescued from snare, rehabilitated and released back into the wild
Read More

Maputo Special Reserve Ele Collaring

August 2021
Preventing human-wildlife conflict
Read More

Elephant Collared in Limpopo National Park, MZ

August 2021
Establishing Elephant Corridors
Read More

Hyena de-snared in Mala Mala

September 2021
Hyena freed some snare & treated
Read More

Virtual Elephant Collaring

August 2021
Elephant collared live on camera!
Read More

Selati rhino dehorning operation

August 2021
Veterinary and Helicopter costs sponsored
Read More

Lioness de-snared on Djuma

August 2021
Snare removed from Lioness's neck
Read More

NVG Heli Patrol Hours Donated

August 2021
Putting eyes in the sky to protect rhinos
Read More

Helicopter funding for Elephant Operation

July 2021
Young elephant snare removal
Read More

Helicopter deployed for problem elephant

July 2021
A human-wildlife conflcit issue
Read More

Full moon helicopter patrol

July 2021
Supporting anti poaching
Read More

Rhino calf treated for suspected gunshot

June 2021
Rhino calf darted to treat deep neck wound
Read More

Elephant calf snare removal

June 2021
Elephant calf treated for severe leg snare
Read More

Elephant saved from tyre

May 2021
Car tyre removed from Elephant Bulls leg
Read More

Bees, Trees and Elephants

April 2021
Beehive donated to save iconic trees from elephants
Read More

SPCA funding for Cape Town fires

April 2021
Funding provided to support SPCA efforts to save wildlife affected by the Cape Town fire
Read More

Helicopter hours sponsored to catch poachers

February 2021
Rhino poachers apprehended thanks to rapid response
Read More

K9 Texas hounds vet fees sponsored

January 2021
Supporting K9 anti poaching
Read More

Ground Hornbill nest installed

December 2020
Artifical nest installed to increase G.Hornbill population
Read More

Wild Dog collared to monitor pack

November 2020
Wild dog collared to save pack from persecution
Read More

Zebra foal snare removal

November 2020
Wire snare cut from Zebra's neck
Read More

Two Hyena's saved from snares

October 2020
Wire snares cut from 2 different Hyenas
Read More

Elephant calf released from Snare

October 2020
Wire snare removed from elephant calf's neck
Read More

Black Rhinos given horn implants

September 2020
Black rhinos tagged for security
Read More

Horrific snare removed from Hyena

September 2020
Hyena free'd from snare and branch
Read More

Rhino's darted and moved to safety

August 2020
Veterinary costs sponsored to move Rhinos
Read More

Wild Dog GPS tracking collar sponsored

July 2020
Pack collared to investigate plummeting numbers
Read More

Sponsorship of veterinary equipment

June 2020
RRF sponsors canvas stretchers for veterinary operations
Read More

Honey as a natural anti-biotic

May 2020
Wild Wonderful World partner with Elephants Alive
Read More

Cheetah metapopulation project

April 2020
Safaris and travel may have stopped but important conservation work continues!
Read More

Wild Dog GPS Collar sponsored

March 2020
Wild Dog GPS collar sponsored for EWT research
Read More

Preventing human-wild dog conflict

Feb 2020
A 48 hour effort to dart a pack of 5 wild dogs on surrounding farmland.
Read More