Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s acting CEO, Sihle Mkhize, reported an urgent development: five elephants had strayed 16km south from Ndumo Game Reserve’s southern boundary into community land, shifting from their usual migration route through Tembe Elephant Park (TEP).

The Ndumo Game Reserve is a Ramsar site renowned for its rich biodiversity and located in Maputoland, KwaZulu-Natal, near the Mozambican border. A drastic decision was made to approve a standing destruction permit. This deadly escalation of human-wildlife conflict prompted WeWild Africa to step up, and step in, saving the herd.

Early on Saturday morning, January 20th, Dereck Milburn, director of WeWild Africa, gathered resources and funding, then organized and executed an emergency aerial rescue intervention, tracking and safely redirecting the elephants’ back to safety, and saving their lives.

With this rescue operation, we are reminded of the collaboration required between NGOs and governments to save wildlife. WeWild Africa’s network of partners and dedicated team allows it to urgently save more wildlife than currently any other organization in Africa.