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Urgent appeal: Relocation of 'problem' elephant to Matusadonna
Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF)
April 10, 2007

Those of you who are regular visitors to Charara will probably remember a mischievous elephant with one tusk who is resident there, hence his name "Tusker".

True to his nature, he has apparently been misbehaving again. Although he has never killed anyone, he has been known in the past to toss tents into the air, just for the fun of it. Campers have to guard their breakfast because when he smells the food, he has been known to lumber into a camp site and help himself to a snack. On one occasion, he wanted to come into the Charara camping area, probably for breakfast, but was too lazy to walk through the gate so he simply knocked the wall down and walked in.

Last weekend, however, he tried to trample a tent which was occupied by campers and National Parks now feel he has overstayed his welcome. We have been told that they intend to shoot him before he kills someone so we have offered to relocate him to Matusadonna instead.

We have a supply of M99, the drug needed to tranquilize him and we have a veterinary surgeon who is prepared to do the darting, monitor the whole operation and administer the reversal drug once Tusker arrives in Matusadonna. Ian Harris of Kariba Ferries has very kindly donated the use of the Sea Horse to carry Tusker across the lake provided we supply the diesel. We need about 500 litres of diesel to get to Kariba and back and for the ferry. We are urgently appealing to anyone who can help with either the fuel, or the funds to buy the fuel. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Contact details below.

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force

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