Thanks to WWW NPC supporter Chris, we were able to sponsor another elephant collaring for Elephants Alive in June 2023. This time, we replaced the GPS collar of Lotter, the elephant bull. Lotter spends most of his time on the Phalaborwa copper mine, which seems a peculiar place for wild elephants! The elephants can leave the mine if they choose, as there are openings in the fencing. As with all collarings, the research team uses the opportunity to collect morphological measurements and biological samples such as foot circumference, total body length, tail hairs, toe nail cuttings and dung samples. These are taken back to the lab, where researchers from different study groups will analyse the samples as part of their research into feeding preferences, different nutrient levels and stress levels of individual elephants.
Collarings are always a humming operation, with loads of moving parts and often elephants fall asleep in thick bush areas. It was very refreshing for the team to have such a wide open space to do their work!
Thanks to Chris for his unwavering support of our and Elephants Alive's conservation work! Click here to sponsor your own elephant collar.