Kenya to release orphaned elephant calves to wild after rehabilitation

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-03 20:04:29|Editor: xuxin
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NAIROBI, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said on Friday it had transferred three orphaned elephant calves to a holding facility at Sera Wildlife Conservancy in the northern county of Samburu to pave way for their release into the wild.

According to KWS, the release of the three orphaned elephant calves into the wild marked a milestone in rescue and rehabilitation of iconic species amid threats like poaching and human encroachment on their habitat.

"The rescued calves are doing well in what experts term as 'soft release' even as close monitoring continues ahead of the final release to the 'real wild'," KWS said in a statement.

A partnership between KWS and conservation lobby group, Northern Rangelands Trust was behind the rescue and successful rehabilitation of the orphaned elephant calves aged over three years.

KWS has also forged partnership with local communities to support rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of orphaned or abandoned elephant calves in the northern frontier districts.

An elephant rescue facility in northern Kenya established in 2016 through a partnership between KWS and donors has boosted protection of the giant land mammals.

So far, the facility has rescued 47 elephants and one black rhino while promoting community based conservation of wildlife heritage.

KWS said it has developed a comprehensive monitoring strategy to ensure that rescued elephant calves are cushioned from danger once released to the wild.

"We have established an elaborate post release monitoring protocol to ensure integration of rescued calves is successful," said KWS.

"The protocol encompasses monitoring of parasite loads, hormonal balance and movement patterns," it added.

The wildlife agency revealed that the three orphaned elephant calves have been fitted with satellite tracking collars to help monitor their movement while in the wild.

Likewise, enhanced vigilance from KWS rangers and community scouts are expected to ensure the elephant calves are protected from large predators.