With the ever increasing numbers of elephant in the Kruger national park, the park management had two options – cull or move excess elephant to other national parks around the country, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi game reserve being one of these parks.
The elephant of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi were introduced from 1985 to 1991. During that time about 160 elephant were brought in from Kruger national park.
Currently, it is believed there are 600 elephant in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi game reserve. In the 1980s the moving of Big animals – like elephant – was in its infant stages and there were a few mistakes made, one of which was the moving of only young animals to other reserves. There were two main reason for this, sheer ignorance and, when culling was done, it would be the older animals that were culled. Another factor at the time – no one had ever moved older mature elephants to other reserves. The problem with only moving young animals was that there was no leadership, the youngsters became confused and restless, charging all over the park and staying together as a big group. After a few years the elephant of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi started to settle down and, with time, game capture had learnt how to move mature animals and research had proved the best way to move elephant was to move whole family groups.


 As the young bull elephants of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi started to mature and came into “musth or must” a new problem arose – these “musty bulls” started to kill rhino. It was believed the bulls were not trying to mate with the rhino, but were killing them more out of frustration. The park management of the time came up with a solution to this problem, they brought in 10 mature Tuskers from Kruger national park, and these mature bulls brought some discipline to the young elephants, and the number of rhino being killed by the elephants dropped significantly. There are still rhino killed by elephant in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, probably because there is a high number of rhino present in the Park.One of the most controversial policies to control elephant populations is culling. Currently, when parks have too many elephant the surplus elephant are moved to other parks. One of the challenges with moving elephants is that it is extremely costly. It is a short term solution, as the different parks can only carry so many animals. Contraception is another solution.
Experimentation and research is ongoing in this regard.







Tusker from Kruger