Monday, 15 November 2010

Gorongosa National Park Releases More Buffalo and Wildebeest into the Floodplain of Lake Urema - the Heart of the Public Viewing Area

A number of the buffalo and wildebeest previously protected in the Wildlife Sanctuary at Gorongosa National Park were recently released into the greater Park last week. Many of these animals were translocated from Kruger National Park, in South Africa, and from Limpopo National Park during the years of 2006, 2007, and 2009 to foster the growth of animal population in Gorongosa. Others are the locally born offspring of these herds.

Buffalo being released next to "Lagoa do Paraíso" (Paradise Pan),
deep in the Gorongosa National Park

These animals have already become familiar with their new habitat and are breeding very well given the ample food and water supplies in Gorongosa.

Now, the time has come to release the animals from the Sanctuary. The release creates more room for new animal translocations and allows for better game viewing by visitors to the park. It should also have a positive impact on the high grasses in the floodplain, as both of these species are bulk grazers.

The operation, which included capturing, sedating, transporting and releasing of the animals, lasted for two days and was supported by Game Capture specialists from South Africa and by the Gilé Game Reserve, in Zambézia Province, and, of course, the local Conservation Team from the Gorongosa National Park was the mastermind of the operation.

Buffalo capturing scene inside the Wildlife Sanctuary of Gorongosa National Park

Equipped with a helicopter and two game capturing lorries, the Veterinarians and their teams were able to capture 20 buffalo and 47 wildebeest from the Gorongosa Sanctuary and released them deep inside the Park Public Viewing Area.

Buffalo are once again flourishing in the PNG. The initial 150 animals that were imported have grown steadily to a herd of approximately 450 in just three years.

Domingos Muala
GNP Department of Communications

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