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There’s a Really Good Reason This Elephant’s Being Lifted by a Crane

More than 500 elephants are being moved across Malawi from Liwonde and Majete National Parks to a new, safer home, at the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, which is great news for animal lovers everywhere.

But when adult bulls weight anywhere between 8,800–15,400 lb, how do they make the nearly 190-mile journey?

Read More: Top Poached Animals You Can Help Protect

The answer is: carefully. And with a crane.

To move the elephants, they were first herded into floodplain and then shot with a tranquilizer dart. Doctors checked on each of their health before they were hoisted with a crane into crates, where they were revived. They were then prodded onto large trucks and driven to their new home.

The process is slow-going. The team can move about 24 elephants a day.

The elephants are moving to the new park after facing years of poaching and other conflicts with local Malawians.

Thanks in large part to the nonprofit African Parks, the national sanctuary will be to assist in populating regions where elephants are currently most at risk throughout Africa. A global market and illicit trade still exist causing poaching to persist throughout many regions. This can have severe effects on elephant populations across the continent.

Read More: Why teenage female elephants are taking over their herds

By the end of next year, all 500 elephants will be relocated from Liwonde National Park to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve the new national sanctuary — which will have more space and safety measures for wild elephants.

To learn more check out #500elephants.

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