Relocation Of Elephants

While the population of elephants steadily increases at a fairly reasonable rate, their habitat decreases exponentially. This is due to the influx of human beings and the commercial developments they bring along with them. The closer the proximity between elephant and human, the more dangerous for both species as fear and territorial tendencies mount.

This situation forces people to formulate and implement new methods of dealing with the elephant population to avoid any fatal encounters or hazardous overpopulation.

Relocating elephants has long been the solution to the problem of overcrowding. In areas where roaming and feeding space is limited, it has been decided to move individuals and entire herds to other areas. The place to which they are sent is either sparse in elephants or just has ample room and resources (medical care, vegetation, water, etc...) for more. Alternatively, they could be moved to a sanctuary, park or zoo.

Not only do elephants require space in order to give them room in which to roam. They also need an area that is rich in the appropriate foliage. Elephants eat large quantities of food every day, but they also trample and tear much of the vegetation as they move and eat. While this has many positive implication to the area (such as providing it with an opportunity to renew its produce), it does mean that the landscape needs time to recover and sprout fresh, new growth. However, in confined areas, this time is not possible and, without this opportunity, the land becomes barren and cannot sustain any grazing wildlife.

Relocating elephants is a major decision as it involves huge cost implications as well as emotional distress for the animals involved. Capturing and transporting the elephants also presents some degree of danger to the people involved in the process, as they are handling a powerful animal in a provoked and frightened state. It should involve the relocation of the entire herd to avoid grieving amongst close-knit members who experience the loss of one or two of their family members. Unfortunately, this is not always possible due to cost implications, herd structures or requirements of the destination (who may only have space for four young females, for example).

When deciding on the population control for any specific area, there are many motivating and influencing factors. These need to be weighed and considered carefully before making a decision that will be of the most benefit to as many of the animals as possible.

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