AFRICA.LIWONDE: As “overpopulation” hits Liwonde National Park in the Southern Region of Malawi, the authority says there are plans to relocate about 250 elephants to Kasungu National Park by the end of July.
The distance between the two parks, according to Transcontinental Times’ findings is pegged at 318 kilometres. According to authority, the decision became necessary as cases of elephant straying into human communities around Liwonde park was surging.
The relocation makes it the second of its type in three years, with 300 elephants moved to Nkhotakota Game Reserve in 2019.
Accordingly, elephants have almost disappeared at Kasungu National Park located in central Malawi. Now there are about 50 specimens compared to 1,200 about 50 years ago.
Elephants are disappearing as a result of “poaching for ivory”, according to Patricio Ndadzela, an authority from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in Malawi.
“Poaching has decreased and the number of elephants has increased, there are now 120 elephants. But the population is still too low to be viable,” said Ndadzela. “The introduction of 250 additional elephants will change this scenario.”
In Liwonde, the number of elephants have surged and it threatens natural resources in the region. This further triggers wildlife conflict in local communities.
Between 2016 and 2017, Telegraph reported that 520 elephants were moved from Liwonde Park “to ease pressure on their habitat and reduce conflict with humans.”
According to findings, there are about 2,000 elephants In Malawi and this is far below the number of the species in Africa, where Southern Africa is home to 70 per cent of them.
These kind of trends have led to fatal accidents in Zimbabwe, forcing locals to protest the ban on the ivory trade made from elephants. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the savannah elephant (Loxodonta Africana) is “endangered”, and its smaller cousin, the forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), is “in critical danger of extinction.”