Ivory Coast pilots novel elephant relocation

2014-01-24 14:12
Members of the IFAW stand near an elephant in a truck as part of an operation to relocate dozens of elephants in conflict with farmers. (Sia Kambou, AFP)

Members of the IFAW stand near an elephant in a truck as part of an operation to relocate dozens of elephants in conflict with farmers. (Sia Kambou, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dakar - Conservationists are capturing and relocating elephants in Ivory Coast, forced out of their traditional habitat by encroaching humans, in the first such operation attempted in Africa's forests.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare this week began tranquilising elephants outside the western town of Daloa, then locking them in a crate for the 10-hour drive to Assagny National Park on the southern coast.

According to IFAW, the elephants were forced out of their original homes in Marahoue National Park by human migration possibly related to the West African country's 2010-11 postelection violence.

Ivory Coast has not conducted a recent census to determine how many forest elephants are left in the country, but conservationists estimate there are a few hundred. In Central Africa, their populations have been devastated by poaching in recent years.


Forest elephants are smaller than the savannah elephants found in Africa's eastern and southern regions. They have more oval-shaped ears and straighter tusks, and occupy dense forests stretching from Central African Republic to Liberia.

The dozen or so elephants targeted for relocation moved near Daloa two years ago and began wreaking havoc, destroying crops and killing two people including a small boy who accidentally stumbled upon elephant calves, prompting their mother to attack, IFAW said.

One calf is among those to be tranquilised and moved, the organisation said.

Elephants are widely cherished as Ivory Coast's national animal, and the government contacted the animal welfare organisation for help to solve the problem without hunting the elephants down and contributing to the ongoing decline of forest elephant populations throughout the region, said Celine Sissler-Bienvenu, IFAW's director for Francophone Africa.

"This relocation solves a major conservation problem by contributing to the safety and well-being of both the animals and humans", Sissler-Bienvenu said.

Similar projects have been undertaken for savannah elephants in southern Africa, but until this week relocation had not been attempted for the forest elephants of West and Central Africa, the Washington DC-based organisation said.

Read more on:    ifaw  |  ivory caost  |  animals  |  poaching

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.