If there is one thing that the current global COVID-19 crisis has taught humankind, it is that much can be accomplished when you take a moment to be still and revaluate what is important in life. We have been forced to quieten the day to day busyness and learnt how to live in the moment, how to become fluid and flexible and recreate yourself in order to survive, to roll with the punches, and to hopefully come out on the other side – STRONGER…..more determined….and still clinging on to that glimmer of HOPE. Great strides in conservation can be made by taking a step back, observing, and simply allowing Nature to speak. If you can understand the language of Nature, you can turn this knowledge into powerful drivers of positive change.
Despite the world in lockdown critical elephant research is STILL taking place. For those of you that are stuck at home or missing Africa and the bush, we are offering you the opportunity to participate in a unique live conservation experience. Front row seats from the comfort and safety of your home, the opportunity to see the elephant experts in action. You will get to see first hand all that is involved from the initial tracking to the immobilizing and fitting of the collar on one of Elephants Alive’s iconic elephants, all while helping conservation professionals make a difference in protecting and studying these magnificent creatures.
In just a few weeks, the Blue Sky Society team along with the professionals from Elephants Alive and wildlife vets will be part of an extraordinary virtual elephant collaring operation in the Hoedspruit area. The bush echoes with stories told by generations of gentle giants that roam these grasslands; stories infused with age-old wisdom; stories that must be preserved.
We will be joining a stellar team of experts from wildlife and conservation bodies who have dedicated their lives to listening to these stories and responding in ways to save and protect these majestic beasts. The collaring date will be confirmed when we have received the permit. The team will spend a morning collaring elephants in the Hoedspruit area. We will collar one elephant but if more funds are raised, we can repeat the operation. We are also hoping to raise enough funds to feed a few of the wildlife communities in rural areas adjacent to some of these pristine wildlife spaces. You can help us to achieve this by supporting this initiative.
Each ticket is per device so this means that you can purchase one ticket which will give you, your family, and/or friends the chance to be a part of this experience provided you all watch off the same device together. We only deal with the professionals so this virtual collaring will allow guests the opportunity to see how things roll out on the ground while being able to interact and ask the wildlife vets questions in real-time. This is a first for us and I think a first for conservation. So we are truly excited about bringing the work we do with fellow South Africans and the rest of the world!
Please see the event details below:
Date: 8th August 2020
Time: We will have two time slots 8am to 11am for our first Elephant Collaring of the day and then 14h30 to 17h00 for our second. This allows us to cater for all viewers across different time zones. This is South African Time (UTC+2) ). Your ticket will allow you access to watch both collaring’s.
Tickets: Click here to buy a ticket (If you would like to gift someone with a ticket just let me know and I will happily assist you )
Donate: If you would prefer to simply make a donation of your own amount, please use the ticket link and select the donation option on the ticketing page, Every donation helps us get one step closer to making this happen and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support.
Share The Love: Should you wish to help us by spreading the word about our event and what we do, please connect with us on social media (Facebook & Instagram) or forward this mail onto your fellow elephant lovers!
You can watch a video from a collaring we did in March pre-lock down to give you an idea. https://youtu.be/plzp1rqsEXo
There are several critical reasons why we need to raise funds to collar elephants in this area:
Scientific research: As with everything in life, the best decisions are knowledge-based. Similarly, safeguarding and preserving Africa’s elephant population is heavily dependent on quality data. Experts must be able to monitor the animals’ movements and migration routes. The elephants we will be working with cross man-made borders between the various Private Reserves to the west of the Kruger National Park. How does this impact on water and food access, how do the elephants’ journeys overlap with different land-use practices across the mosaic of Protected Areas and how best do we protect the animals and humans under these circumstances? The answers are based on scientific research i.e. crucial data that the collars will provide.
Collars help prevent conflict between elephants and people: Human-wildlife conflict is an age-old dilemma. The collars provide experts with critical data, which help them make life-saving decisions so that people and elephants can co-exist in harmony. Fully understanding jumbo behaviour and movement will fuel significant, impactful decision-making and intervention measures. The collars provide real-time data so rangers, for example, can move in if necessary, with rapid response teams and herd the animals away if they wander too close to communities or valuable infrastructure. If an animal is injured or stationary for too long the transmitter will show researchers that the animal has not moved, and they can immediately send in the response team to go and see what is happening.
Influencing policy: Three countries make up the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. Data gathered from the elephant collars will be channelled to key policy- and decision-makers in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa as the animals can wander over wide areas. This will facilitate greater cross-border collaboration resulting in more impactful conservation efforts
There is much riding on our elephant-collaring mission. YOU are invited to help us save lives (elephants and people) within this precious area of exquisite natural beauty.
**PLEASE NOTE that this is a Blue Sky Society Trust fundraising initiative. To collar elephants is not an easy or cheap task but is very necessary. Each collar costs approximately R 90 000 per collar which includes 2 years data, then there are wildlife vet, filming, marketing , helicopter expenses and a administration fee. We aim to raise enough funds to collar 3 Elephants. We are also hoping to reach our target as we would like to assist a few rural communities adjacent to these wildlife areas with food parcels in this time of devastation in the world.
THE SPECIALIST TEAMS:
BLUE SKY SOCIETY TRUST
Blue Sky Society Trust is an independent non-profit organisation in Africa dedicated to conservation, wildlife protection, community upliftment, and ecotourism in the continent. We believe that every act of kindness can have a positive ripple effect, and even the smallest contribution can make a big difference. Our mission is to protect, preserve, and improve life for people, wildlife, and communities in need. Our vision is to identify and manage projects that people, and companies can support by giving their time, expertise, ideas and much needed funds. www.blueskysociety.org
Elephants Alive represents a South African based NGO consisting of a small but impactful team who have consistently placed research-based information on the table to help managers best protect elephants throughout Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park and beyond. We have extensive experience collaring elephants and networking with other NGOs to achieve what is best for elephants. Having deployed close to 200 collars throughout Southern African since 1998, we represent a very experienced and professional team. Elephants Alive, together with wildlife vets have collared many elephants with Blue Sky Society Trust. The elephants that we have collared are functioning as trailblazers, showing us how, where and when we should be connecting Protected Areas across the landscape. We look forward to the opportunity to discover more corridor-moving elephants. www.elephantsalive.org
WildlifeVets came to be after Dr Cobus Raath left the Kruger National Park and started a private practice in the lowveld of Mpumalanga in the mid-90s. After having accrued over 30 years of wildlife veterinary and capture experience, Dr’s Joel Alves and Ben Muller joined the team in 2018 and 2017 respectively to bring together a great blend of experience and energy. Besides predominately having a focus on conservation work within the lowveld, WildlifeVets has a large footprint in other countries both in and out of Africa, in the last three years having successfully carried out operations in Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique and the Republic of Congo. Wildlifevets continues to strive to have a multi-dimensional approach to conservation and veterinary science and thanks to a fully equipped operation, are capable of carrying out any scale of conservation project. www.wildlifevets.net
Founded in January 2019 by Brent Leo-Smith and Wium Dörnbrack, Painted Dog TV is a technology driven wildlife and conservation film production company. With over 30 years of combined wildlife, conservation and film-making experience, and based in the wild heart-land of South Africa bordering the famous Kruger National Park, Painted Dog TV is perfectly positioned and equipped to keep pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a wildlife media company in Africa. www.painteddog.tv