December 12, 2018

3:08 pm

Risky Business

The third episode of “Moving Giants” looks at the process of translocating elephants, a process rife with risk. Low-flying helicopters, tranquilizers that are 10,000 times stronger than commercial morphine, and the unknown of capturing and transporting wild animals all add up to a recipe of great potential danger.

Good thing the operation is run by one of the world's foremost authorities on translocating elephants: Kester Vickery.

The “Moving Giants” series, which debuted in November, takes its name from an ambitious, trans-border elephant-conservation project, in which 200 elephants are being moved more than 1,000 miles.

The elephants' home in South Africa — the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve (VLNR, owned by De Beers Group) — has a carrying capacity of between 40 to 60 elephants, but as recently as this summer had more than 275. In order for the VLNR ecosystem to avoid collapse, at least 200 elephants will have to be moved.

The video series, which will comprise seven episodes (it will conclude in January 2019), will follow the elephants on their journey from South Africa to Mozambique, a country whose ecosystems desperately need elephants to survive. As elephants are a keystone species, they are critical to a habitat's survival.

To see previous episodes in the series, please visit our video hub here.