By Lenore Fedow
De Beers has helped relocate 101 elephants to Zinave National Park in Mozambique since last summer.
Johannesburg—De Beers is one step further to relocating 200 elephants from South Africa to a protected national park in Mozambique.

The diamond company announced last week that the second group of elephants has been moved from the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve in South Africa, where too many elephants are endangering the ecosystem, to Zinave National Park in Mozambique, where the elephant population is dwindling.

Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve can accommodate about 60 elephants without harm to the ecosystem, but the population grew to 270 prior to the first relocation.

Zinave National Park can accommodate around 500 elephants, but the country’s 15-year civil war took a toll on its wildlife and environment.

De Beers began its “Moving Giants” conservation effort last summer, partnering with non-profit Peace Parks Foundation to translocate the elephants over a period of three years.

In July and August 2018, a total of 48 elephants traveled 932 miles to Mozambique in family groups, consisting of matriarchs, younger males and females, and calves.

The first herds of elephants have been integrating with other herds at Zinave National Park and have been “thriving” with more space and food available, the company said in a release.

20190716 De Beers Elephant Conservation insertDe Beers has invested $500,000 from the Anglo American Group Foundation to support anti-poaching measures at Zinave National Park.

In June and July 2019, a total of 53 elephants have been moved to the park, with the final herd arriving last week.

The remaining elephants in the South African reserve will be moved next year to Mozambique national parks with room for them.

Peace Parks co-manages Zinave National Park with the Mozambique government and watches over the elephants as they adjust to their new environment.

“The future of the African elephant is bleak in most parts of Africa, except for the southern Africa region, where the outlook on their population numbers are stable and even, in some cases, increasing,” Peace Parks Foundation CEO Werner Myburgh said in a statement.

“Zinave National Park in Mozambique is one of these places and brings hope as a new founder population is on the rise. A rare new beginning in today’s day and age, where there is space and safety for these gentle giants.”

Peace Parks works with the local communities, providing employment and tourist dollars through the park as well as investing in community agriculture, bee keeping and water system improvements.

In Mozambique, 20 percent of a national park’s revenue is granted to the local community.

De Beers will invest an additional $500,000 investment from the Anglo American Group Foundation to Peace Parks to supports its anti-poaching measures.

Zinave has trained 25 new field rangers from location communities, purchased an aircraft for aerial surveillance, installed a digital radio network and set up an anti-poaching operations control room.

“To be part of a conservation effort that will rehabilitate a national park in Mozambique and at the same time ensure that other species at one of our nature reserves in South Africa can flourish makes me feel very proud,” De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said.

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