The original herd of 7 elephants in September 1999, when they arrived at Thula Thula. Classified as “rogue” and “troublemakers”, our original herd of 7 elephants, made famous in the best-seller “The Elephant Whisperer” by Lawrence Anthony, has now increased to the maximum sustainable capacity.
Contraception program for our male elephants
Having now reached its maximum capacity in terms of habitat for our herd, the reserve implemented a reversible male elephant contraception programme to allow controlled breeding. This operation started in Sept 2012, is being renewed every 6 months and unfortunately is not having the desired effect.
An alternative to relocation
Although contraception does not adversely affect the elephants and does not produce any behavioral side effects, questions do remain as to how continued contraception might influence such a highly sociable species.
Thanks to the local community, Thula Thula now has the opportunity to add a further 3500 ha of land to increase their habitat. This solution requires 35 km of electric fencing as well as roads, increased security, guard training, security equipment and vehicles, conservation, land management and the list just goes on, to keep our wildlife safe. Community projects such as this, not only support the wildlife but also improve local employment and education.