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What and Who are Elephants Alive?

by | Eco Planet, Green Living, Print Articles, Summer 2023

“Our mission is to ensure the survival of elephants and their habitats and to promote the harmonious co-existence of elephants and people.”

For more than 28 years, Elephants Alive has been guided by the principle: To go wherever the elephants lead us. This allows us to be flexible so that our programmes can evolve and adapt organically as elephants have led us across four countries during their travels. With science as our compass and elephants as our guide, we have chartered a new model that benefits both elephants and communities: Offering elephants the security they need, whilst simultaneously diversifying farmers’ income and increasing their food security. Our goal is to protect elephants’ lives and peoples’ livelihoods while we bolster human-elephant coexistence. Our journeys in the footsteps of elephants have not only taught us a lot about elephants, but also about the people whose lives they affect. A key lesson has been that we are stronger, tackling the challenges, together.   

Our work is centred around five pillars:

Tracking Project: Tracking collared elephants to understand their large-space requirements: We work where our collared elephants go, crossing local and international boundaries. Over two million location points help us to follow their incredible journeys across southern Africa. Our HQ is based near Hoedspruit, in the Limpopo Province in South Africa.

ID Project: Identifying individual elephants to understand their social behaviour and how this influences trends in their numbers. Our elephant identification studies are the most continuous and long-term studies in southern Africa.

Big Trees and Plants Project: We help to reduce human-elephant conflict by protecting iconic trees and we propagate unpalatable elephant crops to protect farmers’ food crops.

Bee Project: We use bees to protect large trees and farmland. Bees assist with pollination and produce our delicious honey.

Community and Gogo Project: We build relationships with communities living adjacent to protected areas. By showing compassion towards wildlife, we touch people’s hearts and minds and promote tolerance between people and elephants.

These five pillars come together in our Corridor Project, which serves as a practical template for community-driven, effective and adaptable solutions to human-elephant conflict in rural areas.

To support our work, click here: elephantsalive.org/donate                  

Elephants Alive is a registered non-profit & public benefit organisation. NPO #055-871 / 267-731 | PBO #930073105 | NPC 2020/877724/08