Elephant conflict is a rarity in the Okakarara communal conservancies, however in the last weeks two elephant bulls have moved from the northeast conservancies bordering the Khauum National Park into the Okamatapati Conservancy. Due to a nationwide drought and no natural waterpoints for wildlife, elephants resort to using waterpoints next to homesteads. The elephants often cause damage by breaking fences or pipes.
I have been assisting the newly appointed Community Game Guards to record incidents using the “event book”, a tool used through Namibia Communal Conservancies for monitoring free moving wildlife. As the people living in the Okakarara areas seldom see elephants, the presence of these magnificent animals causes a bit of concern for people’s safety.
As it often happens in the field, CCF takes every opportunity to reach out and assist community members. In this case we helped build understanding in basic elephant behaviour to ensure the animals are not antagonised. The bulls will very likely move back to the Khaudum area, typical behaviour of dispersal young males, but in the meantime they appear to be relatively settled in the area and undisturbed. Historically elephant roamed in the area, so it’s refreshing to see them exploring here again.