African Parks are undertaking the largest-ever relocation of elephants to a safe new home. A team of vets and conservation experts are using a fleet of flat-bed trucks, helicopters and cranes to move 500 African elephants 215 miles from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi.
The massive project is being part-funded by players of People's Postcode Lottery who have raised £550,000 for the charity in sub-Saharan Africa.
The first 250 animals were successfully moved recently with the second group of 250 being moved in 2017. African Parks, who manage three reserves, are responsible for protecting around 90% of Malawi's elephants.
More than 10 million elephants roamed across Africa just 100 years ago. Today, there are less than 450,000. A team from People's Postcode Lottery has just returned from Malawi. During their visit, they created a video documenting the project, complete with remarkable footage of the move and interviews with the team from African Parks.
His Royal Highness Prince Harry also visited the project in August to see the remarkable journey being undertaken.
Peter Fearnhead, Chief Executive Officer of African Parks, said: "We have eight, 30-tonne trucks here. We have three helicopters as part of it. We've got vets, we've got logistical experts, truck drivers, crane drivers and all of those people need to come together and work as the most phenomenal team in order to make a smooth translocation.
"To every individual that plays People's Postcode Lottery - your money is so valuable in operations like this. It is only help from players that makes these kinds of things possible.”
Lorna Menzies, Managing Director at People's Postcode Lottery, said: "Without this work being carried out these elephants would be at risk – we can't thank players of People's Postcode Lottery enough for their support.
"The footage from the trip is breath-taking and I hope it will help people understand how important this project is. It's an experience I'll never forget."
Players of People's Postcode Lottery support more than 2,000 good causes across Great Britain and internationally and have so far raised £148 Million for them.