Malawi is concluding translocation of various wild animal species this week to under-stocked reserves in the country in an effort to preserve natural endowment.
“It has been an excellent operation with 211 elephants translocated last week. We expect to reach the target of translocating 250 elephants and other animal species before the end of August with the rest of the exercise being concluded within the same period next year,” said Director of National Parks and Wildlife Brighton Kumchedwa on Saturday.
Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bright Msaka, witnessed the capture and translocation last Friday.
“Let me commend the communities around Liwonde National Park for contributing to the successful management of wildlife which saw the population of elephants and other species growing to the extent that surplus can be moved to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve,” Msaka said.
He assured the communities surrounding Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, where these elephants and other species are being moved to, that government and African Parks have made sure that, particularly elephants, are released in a purposely constructed sanctuary with an electric fence to ensure that they do not cause any suffering to the communities.
“I, therefore, urge these communities to support the initiative as it has economic spin-offs to them. Let us provide all the necessary protection that we can afford,” he said.
Patricio Ndadzera from African Parks’ said the capture of antelopes has so far been completed while the remaining 39 elephants would be relocated in an exercise that ends on August 13.
“We are almost done. The minister witnessed the capture of eight elephants and he is satisfied with the movement of elephants as he finds some merits in it such as reduction of human elephant conflict around Liwonde National Park would be achieved,” Ndadzera said.
Prince Harry of United Kingdom briefly participated in the translocation as a private guest of African Parks.
“He came specially to support African Parks. This operation is of global significance and you may wish to know that the Prince is an avid enthusiast of the protection of wildlife,” Ndadzera said.
Kumchedwa said he was pleased that all the animals that were supposed to be captured from Majete to Nkhotakota had been relocated accordingly.
“This is indeed a very big milestone for Malawi, as it has already attracted global attention. The event has offered Malawi the opportunity to put itself on the map. It wouldn’t be done at any better time than this, when Malawi, not long from now, will be joining the rest of the world in commemorating Word Tourism Month,” he said.
Deputy Director of Tourism responsible for Marketing, Sosten Lingwalanya, has since said the exercise is a milestone achievement for Malawi.
“With our national parks and wildlife reserves being restocked, Malawi will be a complete African holiday destination. We will offer the beaches on Lake Malawi and a memorable wildlife experience to our visitors within shorter distances.
“Above all, we can now start to compete favourably in the region for a share of wildlife ethusiasts, a segment that is more lucrative. I believe we have an edge because it is a fact that our reserves are unique, not overcrowded which enhances and enriches the visitor experience,” Lingwalanya said.
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