Resident elephant at Tongole Wilderness Lodge helps the anti-poaching effort in the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in his own way.
Short Trunk, a resident elephant bull of Tongole Wilderness Lodge in the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve (NKKW) recently showed up near the lodge, accompanied by some other elephants. They were soon joined by another three, forming a nice little herd of nine.
The whole herd proceeded towards the mud bath by the river in front of Tongole. Whilst passing by a poacher’s canoe that the team had found and brought there, Short Trunk’s demeanour and route changed. He headed towards the boat and began putting holes in it, wrecking it beyond any use.
Was it the smell that caused Short Trunk to react this way? The team at Tongole are not completely sure of the reason but putting holes in poachers’ boats is often done by humans to prevent them being of further use. Fortunately, Short Trunk does not treat the lodge canoes left at the river in the same way – phew!
Wildlife in the vast NKKWR had diminished over the years due to poaching. With the arrival of Tongole and subsequently African Parks, however, the future looks bright for the health of the park, wildlife and neighbouring communities. The employment and community education provided by Tongole has given value to the wildlife found here and created a sense of pride.
African Parks has already undertaken a huge translocation of wildlife into the reserve in 2016 and 2017 and this is just the beginning, as NKKWR is considered to offer a very valuable sanctuary, especially for elephants. Ahead of the introduction of this additional wildlife, African Parks made huge improvements to security, including highly trained and effective anti-poaching teams, fencing of a sanctuary area within the reserve and further community projects.