500 Elephants Are Being Moved by Crane in a Massive Relocation Project

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Source: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

Source: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

500 elephants from Malawi are being relocated in a pretty unusual fashion.

The elephants are being moved to a larger reserve 185 miles away to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. In order to get the elephants to the reserve, they must be tranquilized with darts from a helicopter and moved by cranes.

According to organizers, moving the elephants is a $1.6 million project. The elephants currently reside at “Liwonde National Park, which is home to 800 threatened elephants,” shared BuzzFeed.

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Source: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

Source: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

Moving the elephants is a tricky combination of moves, but necessary in order to keep the elephants alive and refill the population in Nkhotakota where poachers have almost wiped out the species.

The Associated Press shared that 500 elephants will be moved throughout July and August and again next year. During the move next year, larger transportation vehicles will be used to drive over the rugged terrain during the winter.

Source: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

Source: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

The World Wildlife Fund reports that there are “470,000 of the elephants left in the wild, down from several million last century.”

During the well-constructed move, conservationists will travel with the elephants to monitor their health during the journey. So far, none of the elephants have been injured in this process.

Source: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

Source: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

(H/T BuzzFeed)

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