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SANParks reaches halfway mark in translocating SA wildlife to Mozambique

The park has been facilitating the capture and removal of wildebeest, zebra, elephant, and impala as per a 2016 agreement between South Africa and Mozambique.

Forty-Nine Blue wildebeest are en route to the Zinave National Park in Mozambique in an effort to establish a new population in the transfrontier conservation area which was ravaged by civil war. Picture: Kgomotso Modise/EWN.

SKUKUZA – The South African National Parks (SANParks) says it's crossed the halfway mark in its project to translocate South African wildlife into Mozambique.

The park has been facilitating the capture and removal of wildebeest, zebra, elephant, and impala as per a 2016 agreement between the Environmental Affairs Department and Mozambique's government.

That country's wildlife was on the brink of depletion, with some species completely dying out due to the civil war between 1977 and 1992.

Forty-nine blue wildebeest are en route to the Zinave National Park in Mozambique in an effort to establish a new population in the transfrontier conservation area which was ravaged by civil war.

The capture process on Monday took about 30 minutes.

After that, the animals were tranquilised in preparation for the 27-hour journey across the border.

Operations co-ordinator at SANParks Lawrence de Lange said: “The smallest area which they will put the animals in is between 4,000 to 6,000 hectares, and once they have a well-established population of wildlife then they will take down the fences into the bigger area.”

He says they've recorded a mortality rate of between 3% to 5% during the translocation process, with most of these animals dying from stress.

De Lange says they collected the last of the wildebeest on Monday morning and will continue to capture zebra and impala on Tuesday.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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