By Adam Hartman, The Namibian
A family of six elephants comprising of two adults, a bull and cow, and four calves were loaded at the Port of Walvis Bay on the ‘El Nino’ vessel destined for a tourism game park in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) yesterday.
This is the first time a consignment of such magnitude involving adult elephants has left the country and, according to Namport spokesperson Tana Pessat, it will not be the last as this was a trial run to guarantee that future exports are conducted smoothly.
According to her, the loading was “successful and safe” for the elephants.
Ulf Tubbesing from Wildlife Vets Namibia, on the safety of the animals during the transshipment, said a team of experts is involved during the entire process of the transportation of animals and also accompanies the consignment up to time of discharge to ensure that the elephants are well looked after.
The entire operation, which lasted over 20 hours, required approximately 50 personnel members from various stakeholders to ensure the animals were safely loaded and transported to their destination, which will be next week around Tuesday or Wednesday.
Late last year, a consignment of 205 animals was transported from Walvis Bay to the same tourism Game Park in Kinshasa. According to Tubbesing, the animals, which were released into strictly non-hunting reserves, are faring very well and have reproduced significantly.
Another consignment of elephants is expected to be shipped to DRC in June.