TWO adult elephants, a bull and cow and four calves were loaded on the El Nino vessel in the Port of Walvis Bay where they began a journey to a tourism game park near Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Friday.
According to a statement issued by the Namibian Ports Authority it is the first time a consignment of such magnitude involving adult elephants left the country.
The transport of the animals, which was captured at the Erindi private game reserve, was a trial run to ensure and guarantee that future exportations are conducted smoothly because the parties involved aims to export more elephants to the DRC in June this year.
Namport Corporate Communication Manager, Tana Pesat says in the statement that Dr. Ulf Tubbesing from Wildlife Vets Namibia, along with a team of animal specialists made sure that the transhipment of the animals were done humanely and with as little stress as possible.
“A team of experts is involved during the entire process of the transportation of animals and also accompanies the consignment up to time of discharge to ensure that the elephants are well looked after,” Dr Tubesing said.
The entire operation, which lasted over 20 hours, required approximately 50 personnel members from various stakeholders being Namport, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Honesta Investment 32 CC, Blue Bush Investment trading as Wildlife Vets Namibia, KLD Ship Agency, Walvis Bay Stevedoring, Erindi Game Lodge, Mount Etjo Lodge, El Nino Crew members, Pronto Global Air and Ocean Freight and Camel Transport to ensure that the animals were safely loaded and transported to their destination.
Late last year, a consignment of 205 animals was transported from Walvis Bay to the same game park in Kinshasa.
Dr Tubbesing gave the assurance that the animals which were already exported to the DRC were released into strictly non-hunting reserves. He said they are faring very well and have already started to reproduce.
According to the Namport stament another consignment of elephants is expected to be shipped to the DRC in June this year.