An IFAW staff member keeps watch over one of the two bull forest elephants released into Cote d'Ivoire's Azagny National Park.The sun rose this morning to a joyful day full of promises. Despite our fatigue, we all have enormous grins on our faces. Two trucks can be seen disappearing into the horizon towards a more secure future for these two elephants of Daloa. These trucks are carrying them on this long road to Azagny. Each elephant has its own cage as, being both males, we did not want to risk them fighting.

The two pachyderms were located this morning just a few kilometres from our central base. After having tracked them and then having brought them to the tarmacked road, our teams in the air and on the ground coordinated to allow our vet to anesthetize one after the other from the helicopter. These elephants then staggered on for several metres and then collapsed very close to one another.

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Once we had checked that their breathing was normal, we delicately winched the elephants one by one onto the truck crane and each one received the antidote to wake them up. In a matter of minutes each one was standing in its own transport cage from which they will leave to discover Azagny.

These elephants are two beautiful bulls aged 30 and 13 respectively. When they awoke they knew how to put the smile back on our faces: we know that despite the long trek that awaits them, the cage doors will open to an un-spoilt forest that will become their own and will offer them the serenity and security that they so deserve…

One of two male forest elephants free of his transport container, enters his new home in Cote d'Ivoire's Azagny National Park.

We said our goodbyes to them with a particularly poignant feeling having realized that we had achieved our goal: the goal of saving the forest elephants of Daloa.

We are happy.

We are smiling.


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Article source: IFAW

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