Record number of elephant calves counted in Zakouma
Ahead of World Elephant Day this Sunday, 12 August, I wanted to share some good news from Zakouma National Park in Chad, a place that has had a troubled past. Between 2002 to 2010 approximately 4,000 elephants were killed for their ivory, and only 450 remained.
But African Parks assumed management of the park in 2010 on behalf of the Chadian Government, where we immediately improved law enforcement, and worked with the surrounding communities to bring much-needed security to the region.
Today, illegal activity has drastically been reduced(only 24 known elephants have been poached in the last eight years) and safety has been restored.
But we have even more hopeful news to share from our wildlife surveys completed just this April: the population has been confirmed at 559 elephants.
And earlier this year, we counted 127 calves under the age of five years old; in 2011 we counted one.
Since 2016, this is the first time in decades that Zakouma’s elephants are on the rise.
Not only have the elephants benefited from effective park management and the efforts of our rangers, Zakouma has become the largest employer in the region. Over 1,200 children received an education last year from schools built and supported by the park; and tourism is flourishing delivering critical revenue back to the park and surrounding communities.
Thanks to you.
This story of hope and restoration is captured here in this two-minute film. We hope this shows what is possible with your support in helping us achieve real results and create a better existence for all.