Imire strives to remain at the forefront of conservation in Zimbabwe. One of the most important roles of small conservancies is as a breeding nucleus for vital wildlife gene pools. Game capture and relocation is an essential part of conservation management and a perfect solution for the animals’ best interests for three reasons.Imire strives to remain at the forefront of conservation in Zimbabwe. One of the most important roles of small conservancies is as a breeding nucleus for vital wildlife gene pools. Game capture and relocation is an essential part of conservation management and a perfect solution for the animals’ best interests for three reasons.
1. Repopulation of wilderness areas where the species have been decimated through uncontrolled poaching
2. Strengthening and mixing the current gene pools between conservancy and wild populations.
3. Prevention of inbreeding in conservancy populations and velt management reducing possibilities of over grazing during the harsher dry seasons.
Imire is proud to have taken part in a ground-breaking capture involving sending healthy and viable population of more than 250 individual animals, including, Impala, Blesbok, wildebeest and warthog, from Zimbabwe to repopulate newly protected conservation areas all the way in DRC!The captures were carried out in two ways, with nets and with a make shift funnel leading directly into the truck. The net captures were undoubtedly voted the most adrenaline producing and exciting for our volutneers, definitely a once in a lifetime experience for us all.
The volunteers assisted the game capture team constructing a make shift rounded net with a radius of about 500m with an opening and curtains. We hid amongst tress within the net boma and waited. Working closely alongside the the incredibly talented capture team from AMWC volunteers and staff rounded up these animals, 10-20 at a time, like a cattle dog with sheep, and herded them into the boma. With the sounding siren, the curtain was closed, forming a boxed enclosure. The animals sprinted in all directions, eventually hitting the edges of the netted space.
This was the cue for “capturers” to run. Moving as fast as their legs would allow toward the animals fighting against the perimeters. We grabbed their legs, our partner blindfolding them to relax their strongest sense, and held them tightly. After a light sedative to help make the process as calm as possible we hoisted them onto our shoulders and carried the soon to be travelling animals, to the straw lined trucks. Next stop, the Congo.
Game capture was exciting, overwhelming, emotionally and physically testing for us all. An unbelievable experience for the team and volunteers at Imire. All involved will undoubtedly remember this unique time for many years to come, forever grateful to have been involved!