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Zimbabwe relocates 2,500 wild animals due to climate change to protect them from drought

Thousands of impalas are herded into an enclosure by a helicopter. Elephants lying on their backs are lifted onto trailers by a crane. Numerous rangers herd other animals into metal cages before starting a procession of vehicles to transport them over 700 kilometres (435 miles) to their new habitat.

Since poaching has been replaced by the effects of climate change as the largest threat to wildlife, Zimbabwe has started transporting more than 2,500 wild animals from a reserve in the south to one in the north of the country to save them from drought.

About 400 elephants, 2,000 impalas, 70 giraffes, 50 buffaloes, 50 wild beest, 50 zebras, 50 elands, 10 lions and a pack of 10 wild dogs are among the animals being moved from Zimbabwe’s Save Valley Conservancy to three conservancies in the north — Sapi, Matusadonha and Chizarira — in one of southern Africa’s biggest live animal capture and translocation exercises.

The project, ‘Project Rewild Zambezi,’ involves transporting the animals to a region in the valley of the Zambezi River in order to restore the wildlife populations there.

The need to relocate wildlife was caused by a lack of water since a protracted drought had dried up their habitat, according to Tinashe Farawo, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.


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