The Collaring of Drachmae - Charlotte Regan
10th Feb 2012
Hi again everybody!
So I was lucky enough to attend my third collaring! This time the target elephant was a female elephant from Lewa Wildlife Conservancy called Drachmae.
We were all up bright and early, breakfast at 6 and off to Lewa by 6:45. The early rise was forgotten soon enough though as the planning began and the excitement levels started to rise. We arrived at about 8:30 and after a quick discussion over the plan the search was underway. With the aid of the GPS unit on her current collar we were aware of her position earlier that morning. We all had our fingers crossed that she hadn't wandered far as we started up into beautiful hills of Lewa.
Unfortunately finding Drachmae didn't go as easily as we had all hoped. After splitting up, nearly three hours of hunting and a near misidentification of another female she was located by some members of the team. However the complications didn't end here. Unfortunately the separation of the team during the search meant that the vehicle carrying the collar was not immediately at the darting scene. After a few moments of concern the situation was handled brilliantly by everyone involved and with some guidance from those already with the elephant and some rapid driving by Lucy we made it to the scene just a few minutes after Drachmae had gone down. Everybody leapt into action, David and Fraizer expertly fitted the collar whilst other members of the team poured water over her to keep her cool, took vital statistics such as tusk length and photos of the operation. Most importantly, after a somewhat nerve-wracking collaring Drachmae came round perfectly, if a little dazed and her rapid move to eating was met with both relief and a few laughs.
Thanks again for reading!