02 Sep Elephant contraception
The elephant contraception program continued this year with all females of breeding age being contracepted.
During the past two years some elephant cows have been skipped in order to allow a few calves to be born.
The fact that an elephant cow has a twenty-two month gestation period delays the results somewhat! There have however been 3 calves born this year bringing the Welgevonden elephant population to 124. For more detail on the Welgevonden elephant contraception and thinking please click here.
The contraception of the cows entails them being darted from a helicopter with a fall out dart. Besides the PZP vaccine the darts carry a pink dye which marks the elephant on impact so that the helicopter pilot and veterinarian know which animals have been treated. This is especially helpful when a herd is found the following day to be able to determine if they have been treated or not. The dye wears off after a few days.