Game capture & release – Read more here

Due to a number of factors, game sometimes needs to be moved around. This may be due to over-population or even under-population in certain areas. Moving game is a complex and tricky business and requires a team of experts to be called in for the job.

Project aims:

To capture and move game within or off the reserve to ensure steady and healthy populations of all species. For example, if the wildebeest population in the buffalo camp becomes too large, some will be re-located to the open system.

 What’s being done?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

The last game capture took place in September 2010 (read all the details in the’ flash news’ category and’ Mass game capture’ article) and a professional capture team named “Bundox” were called in to head up the operation. A number of wildebeest and zebra were captured from the buffalo camp using a helicopter. They were then transported in trucks to either the open system or Langa langa where they released. Impala populations in the camp were also above the optimum level. A number of these were also removed and sold.

The role of volunteers:

  • Preparation of capture bomas – Although the capture team bring all equipment with them, it takes an entire 2 days to set up the funnel used to catch the game. There are metres and metres of cable, netting, poles and posts to be erected and this all then needs camouflaging. Volunteers assist with this entire, time consuming process.
  • Capture – Once the equipment is set, capture can begin. The helicopter chases the animals into the back of the capture funnels. As they progress towards the truck, sections of the funnel need to be closed off using netting curtains to prevent animals turning back. Each curtain needs 2 people to pull it and when they should move is signaled to them by the helicopter. Animals also need to be herded through and the doors of the truck manned for when they enter. Once in the truck counting and some sedation needs to take place. This is a huge man power operation and all hands are needed.
  • Release – On arrival at the release site, off-loading ramps need to be placed and the area prepared. Again, the more hands the better and then volunteers are able to see the final release process when the truck doors are opened!


© Askari Wilderness Conservation Programme

1 Responses to Game capture & release – Read more here

  1. Tobisa says:

    I have seen game capture of fifty springboks with my own eyes in a camp where the bomas were made and because of the wind only a few were captured. A vet was then called so they could be captured again in the afternoon with a helicopter. What a struggle on that sunny day.

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