By Samuel Ouma
Thirteen elephants will be flown to Kenya in a joint project by UK-based nonprofit Aspinall Foundation, the Kenya Wildlife Services and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
According to Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the project entails transporting captive elephants from Europe to Africa for rewilding.
The authority noted that the herd has been living as a family in the UK and must be rewilded together in order to maintain the family bonds of the animals’ social structures.
The 13 were born in captivity in Europe and believed to have originated from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
Out of the 13, eight are females and 5 males. The oldest is 34-year-old and the youngest one and half years-old.
The elephants will be trained on how to walk and the exercise will be handled by a team of highly-skilled professionals.
Specialists include specialized vets, elephant capture specialists, logistics experts, load plan specialists and rewilding specialists.
The project is expected to reduce the global zoo industry’s trade in live elephants.
The animals will be harbored in the Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary in Kwale County, coastal part of the country.