The South African government had donated 160 elephants to Lusenga Plains National Park in Zambia's Kawambwa District in 2008. Recent updates on the worrying rate at which elephants are being poached emphasize the major threat that illegal culling plays on the free-roaming wildlife species. Over the last decade, the rate of poached elephants has doubled and the amount of ivory seized has tripled.
160 Elephants donated to Zambia
Previous attempts have aimed at saving the decreasing elephant population in Zambia by donating some from South Africa. The South African government had donated 160 elephants to Lusenga Plains National Park in Zambia's Kawambwa District in 2008.
This decision made by South Africa can be described as a healthy conservation effort as it granted the elephants in South Africa more space for roaming and gave the 160 translocated elephants a chance to escape poachers. Luapula Province acting permanent secretary, Clement Siame, said the elephants arrived as part of an ongoing restocking programme that aimed to increase the reserve's wildlife populations.
Speaking at a preparatory meeting for Destination Luapula Tour on July 23 2008, Siame said the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) had given the park 100 zebras, 100 wildebeests and 280 impalas as well. He said the animal population in park had drastically been reduced due to poaching.
Habitat loss due to increasing human populations and urban development has, in addition to poaching, been a major contributor to the loss of elephants in Zambia.
According to the Bua News report, Siame called on ZAWA and local authorities in Luapula to ensure that the restocked animals are protected from poaching. A three-day event, dubbed "Destination Luapula Tour", took place from 28 August 2008.
Over 150 local and international tourists are expected to attend the event aimed at promoting the tourism potential in the province. "We expect to host over 150 tourists from outside Luapula during the Destination Luapula Tour, who are going to sample the tourism potential here," Siame said.
ReferencesConvention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)