Celebrate World Elephant Day by taking a virtual walk with the majestic creatures

Picture: iStock

The live TV episode will include young elephants in rehabilitation and up-close encounters with a wild herd.

The virtual safari on World Lion Day held on Monday, 10 August proved so successful that Shamwari Private Game Reserve is hosting another episode on the series, this time to mark World Elephant Day.

World Elephant Day is celebrated on August 12 to raise awareness about elephants and protect them from the numerous threats they face.

This free episode will feature two young elephants currently being cared for at Shamwari’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

The elephants were separated from their respective herds and found in a distressed state. Shamwari’s wildlife veterinarian and nurses treated them for dehydration and malnutrition and helped restore their health.

As they have recovered, they are gradually being introduced to wild elephants to ease their transition into a herd when they are ready to be released.

Wildlife nurse Megan Sinclair says caring for the two during lockdown has been a fulltime job, ensuring they are regularly fed, exercised and don’t get up to any mischief, such as trying to break into the food store.

Shamwari’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre serves both as a facility where abandoned, ill and injured wild animals are treated before being released back into the wild and as an education facility. Here visitors get a rare insight into the complex business and day-to-day realities of environmental conservation.

The World Elephant Day special will air on Wednesday, 12 August at 1pm.

After a virtual tour of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, the crew will cross to the ranger team in the bush with a herd of wild elephants.

Viewers will get an on-the-ground perspective as the rangers provide commentary and insights into the daily lives of elephants as well as what is being done at Shamwari and across the continent to conserve these majestic creatures.

Shamwari TV originated when head ranger, Andrew Kearney, armed with just a rifle and cellphone, started filming his daily excursions around the reserve and posting these on YouTube.

The short and insightful videos – where Kearney would get up close with wild animals in their natural habitat and explain their behaviour, habits and social dynamics – quickly gained a loyal following.

That’s when the ranger and hospitality teams decided to launch Shamwari TV.

Shamwari CEO Joe Cloete explained: “Initially these live web broadcasts were a marketing initiative for tour operators and travel agents aimed at keeping Shamwari top of mind while we are in lockdown and unable to accommodate guests.

“We decided to make two special episodes available to anyone who wanted to watch to mark World Lion and World Elephant Day and promote environmental conservation.”

To join the World Elephant Day special, register here on Zoom

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