Conservation Trip with Empowers Africa, Wildlands and WildlifeACT

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This film features the critical conservation work done on rhinos, elephants and lions at the Somkhanda Game Reserve in South Africa as part of a unique travel model to use travelers’ donations to fund vital life-saving conservation work. The film showcases the exceptional work of Wildlands, Wildlife ACT and Dr. Mike Toft of Kifaru Wildlife Veterinary Services. Filmmakers and Black Bean Productions’ founders James Suter and Oli Caldow joined the trip to document the experience. Members of the traveling team funded and participated in conservation activities including collaring elephants and lion as well as rhino de-horning.

The travelers were able to participate in the collaring of 2 bull elephants. Collaring allows the conservation teams on the ground to monitor the elephant population as well as understand the social integration patterns and behavior of the herds and how they interact. Collaring an animal that as large as an elephant can be extraordinarily difficult, but the experienced team made up of Wildlands/WildTrust, Wildlife ACT and Dr. Mike Toft of Kirafru Wildlife Veterinary Services ensured a successful collaring as well as the safety of the elephants and participants.

The team of travelers also participated in the collaring of two lionesses and one male lion. Collaring lions is an essential way of determining patterns of movement, lion social structures and their interaction with humans, making it easier to mitigate any potential human-wildlife conflict.

Finally, the team had the chance to participate in the life-saving exercise of de-horning rhinos. The temporary de-horning (it grows back just like your fingernails) is one of the most effective methods used to keep rhinos safe from poachers. The helped in de-horning and collaring of 5 individuals – 2 black and 3 white.

We hope you find the film both educational and inspirational.

Directed by Black Bean Productions (South Africa)

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