THE elephant bull, that surprised holiday makers with a quick visit to Swakopmund on Christmas Eve, was successfully collared in the Omaruru River earlier this week.
According to a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Romeo Muyunda, a team of game rangers darted the elephant from a helicopter before the collaring process could begin.
“The elephant is currently in the Omaruru River where a team of MET officials darted and collared it under direction and supervision of veterinarian Dr. Janine Shape.”
Muyunda said that the elephant’s condition has improved dramatically since it arrived in the Omaruru River from Swakopmund about four weeks ago.
“Blood samples were taken from the elephant to test for possible diseases. Furthermore the elephant was injected with vitamins to boost its immune system,” he said
Muyunda also said that the area in which the elephant settled has good vegetation and a water point. He added that the MET is confident that the bull will survive and thrive in its new home.
“The collar will enable our staff members to continue monitoring the animal until such a time when we are sure and guaranteed of its wellbeing.”
Muyunda said the operation to collar the Christmas elephant is a clear demonstration of the MET’s commitment to protecting Namibia’s natural resources in particular the country’s wildlife.
On Christmas Eve concerned environmentalists assisted by members of the Namibian Police and the Fire Brigade of Swakopmund managed to herd the animal away from residential areas and officials from the MET guided the elephant back across the Namib Desert towards the Omaruru River where it has since found a new home.