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In Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve the population has been under threat for decades, and numbers are dwindling. Almost 90% of the park’s elephants have been lost over the past 40 years.
In an effort to get a grip on the situation, a new project launched by the Tanzanian government, with support from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is the country’s largest ever elephant collaring effort to protect the rapidly declining population.
The project will span 12 months and around 60 elephants are expected to be tagged.
The aim is to enhance the ability of the park’s rangers to protect the elephants, and in turn help rebuild the population.
“You can’t just protect by the physical presence of rangers,” Huijbregts said.
Collaring an elephant takes around 30 minutes. The animals are sedated and then collared. During this time, a team will also collect health data about the elephant.
Selous Game Reserve also hopes to boost the numbers of tourists. It’s a relatively underserved park compared to reserves in the north of the country.