Shamwari Private Game Reserve’s virtual safari on World Lion Day (Monday 10 August) proved so successful that it is presenting another episode in the series, this time to mark World Elephant Day (Wednesday 12 August).
This episode, which is live, free and open to anyone who wants to watch, will feature two young elephants currently being cared for at Shamwari’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
In different incidents, each became separated from their respective herds and were found in a distressed state. Shamwari’s wildlife veterinarian and nurses’ first task was to treat them for dehydration and malnutrition and 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 is the only one of its kind in the country. It 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.
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 and 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, insightful videos, where Andrew 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.
“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,” explains CEO, Joe Cloete.
“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.”
Join us on August 12th #WorldElephantDay as we raise awareness for conservation with Ranger Manager, Andrew Kearney.— Shamwari Private Game Reserve (@ShamwariReserve) August 9, 2020
There are an estimated 20 000 to 30 000 elephants poached every year.
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