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Sat Jan 31 10:31:39 CAT 2015

Ivory Coast pilots elephant rescue method

Sapa-AP | 24 January, 2014 10:42
File photo
Image by: Reuben Goldberg

A conservation group says it is capturing and relocating elephants in Ivory Coast to stave off future conflicts with villagers and townspeople in the first such operation attempted in Africa's forests.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare this week began tranquilizing up to a dozen forest elephants outside the western town of Daloa and transporting them to Assagny National Park on the southern coast.

The organization says the elephants were chased from the traditional habitat by encroaching humans and have been wreaking havoc, destroying crops and killing two people.

Regional director Celine Sissler-Bienvenu says the operation will ensure Ivorians' safety without forcing authorities to hunt and kill the animals and contribute to the ongoing decline of forest elephants devastated by poaching throughout the region.

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