April saw the Kruger National Park Veterinary Wildlife Services Unit swing into action once more to capture and translocate animals for the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP). Fourteen giraffe were captured in the Satara area and taken into Mozambique into a section of the Limpopo National Park (LNP) near the Giriyondo border post. They form part of the seed population of several species that is being established in Mozambique.
The seed population will encourage animals to move more freely between South Africa and Mozambique when sections of the fence between the adjoining national parks are removed this year. Further animal translocations are planned for August when zebra and wildebeest will be moved. Animal translocations into the LNP began in 2001.
The majority of the animals were relocated into a fenced off 35,000ha enclosure within the million hectare Mozambican park. The first animals to make the move were elephants - both bulls and family units were moved.
They stayed in Mozambique for a while, and then returned to Kruger. However, at least one unit has now gone back to Mozambique under its own steam. Family units translocated in the following years were more successful in that the elephants stayed in Mozambique.
111 elephants have been moved altogether. In the game capture seasons from 2001 to 2004, almost 1000 impala were moved, along with more than 700 zebra, almost 600 wildebeest, 50 buffalo, 32 giraffe, 24 waterbuck and 10 white rhino. More translocations are likely to be made next year as well.